Archive for March, 2012


Robots and Avatars opens at FACT!

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

Robots & Avatars Champion Noel Sharkey @ FACT for the Exhibition opening

We are very glad to announce that the Robots & Avatars Champion Noel Sharkey (Professor of AI and Robotics and Professor of Public Engagement at the University of Sheffield) will attend  the Preview of the Robots and Avatars Exhibition at FACT next week!

Check here his provaction about Artifical Intelligence in 2010 for the Robots and Avatars Lunch debates.

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence – Provocation
Professor Noel Sharkey, University of Sheffield
Part of the Robots and Avatars Programme.
At NESTA, June 28th 2010
Produced by body>data>space (2010)


Robots and Avatars exhibition needs human avatars for FACT opening!

Do you have what it takes to be our human test subject?

For the launch of  Robots and Avatars, artist Martin Baraga Bricelj has set the public of Liverpool a challenge, to get involved in the UK premiere of his Public Avatar project. He needs two people, or as he calls them, “human test subjects” to take the form of the Public Avatar on 15 and 16 March.  The “avatars” will be hooked up to GPS and AV visual systems and set loose around the city of Liverpool under the control of the Liverpool public who will be sending out simple instructions.

Bricelj describes the project as,  “one that documents the relationship between virtual reality and our perceptions of self and society. Public Avatar will allow a global audience to explore real-world locations remotely and to interact with objects and people in those locations through real-time control of a human test subject. As digital and physical worlds collide, the boundaries between self and other, reality and simulation are constantly challenged and redefined.” In a sense, Bricelj is aiming to redefine virtuality, and he adds the warning, “users may feel as if they are playing a computer game, although they should remember that the action is happening in real-time in the real world”.

The project first premiered in Slovenia in 2009, where there were 100 visitors to signed up ready for their 3 minutes of control. Actions were simple to start, such as turn left and right, but then got more creative and the avatars were soon getting people to peel their recently purchased bananas and making postcards! We can’t wait to see what Liverpool has in store for the next Public Avatars.

Have an interest in the performative and available on 15 and 16 March then maybe you could be one of the next Public Avatars?


From FACT website

Go to Top