The Robots and Avatars Exhibition at FACT is officially open. And open it is for everyone: young and old, technology expert and art lover, shy and enthusiastic. The public has taken over the galleries and made this Exhibition truly their own by becoming part of it, interacting and playing with it.
It was a great experience for the body>data >space team to see the audience in action. They bounced with ADA, lost control in Compass, flew around in Visions of Our Communal Dreams, performed some impressive hand ballet within Base8, went wacky in front of the screen-mirrors of MeYouAndUs, had their voices heard through RoboVox and seized control of a flesh and blood avatar!
The opening days started with the Press Preview and Curatorial Tour led by Ghislaine Boddington, Creative Director of body>data>space and FACT’s director, Mike Stubbs. In the evening, the visitors (almost 400 of them) took over the Exhibition. The opening speeches by Ghislaine Boddington and Mike Stubbs introduced the extensive topics addressed by the Robots and Avatars project and exhibitions and the public got a glimpse into Noel Sharkey’s (Robots and Avatars champion) visionary theory on robotics in tomorrow’s society.
Many of the artists were present at the evening of the Opening and the ‘Meet the Artist’ discussion the next day. ADA’s ‘mother’, Karina Smigla-Bobinski; the creators of MeYouAndUs, Alastair Eilbeck and James Bailey; the builder of Visions of Our Communal Dreams, Michael Takeo Magruder and Martin Bricelj, Public Avatar and inventor of RoboVox all participated – together with Ghislaine Boddington, Noel Sharkey and the public – in the debate led by Mike Stubbs.
A big thanks goes to the FACT team for making this exhibition possible and our EU project partners from KIBLA (Slovenia), Altart (Romania), and National Theatre (UK) for joining us on this very special day.
We had a lovely time in Liverpool and we very much hope new visitors will become intrigued by the pieces and start thinking about the increasing overlap of the virtual and physical world and their place in it.
Robots and Avatars is on until the end of May, so follow the latest news of the Exhibition on Facebook, Twitter. Read more about the Opening Night in Steve Boxer’s report.
Picture credit: Karina Smigla-Bobinski. ADA, 2010. Co-produced and presented by body>data>space and FACT in Robots and Avatars Exhibition, 2012. Installation view at FACT. Photographer: Brian Slater