This humorous and poignant short film explores an irritable and conniving four-legged robot’s intrigues with both a fellow 15-foot industrial robotic arm, and its human interlocutor.Based on elements of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, the film delves into technological transformations and humanity’s quandary on how best to advance towards this new 4th industrial revolution.
The film, shot on location at the Consortium for Research & Robotics was hosted by the Pratt Institute in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and features their 16ft tall industrial robotic arm. It also features a spider-like non-humanoid robot called MekaMon, manufactured by Reach Robotics in the UK.
Director of Photography Kevin Barry says, “Our aim is to highlight how humans assign sentience to non-sentient machines. Working with robots allows us to explore psychology as it relates to emerging technologies, which really brings home how important it is for humans to see ourselves in the technologies we interact with.”
A full write-up of the project is published on the Thoughtworks Arts website. And a recent article by TechSPARK highlighting the collaboration with Reach Robotics can be read here. The Sentient Thespian is the first of a planned trilogy of films by Wortzel featuring MekaMon, to be titled Golemopolis.
Robotics projects presented at Pioneer Works Second Sundays
Catie Cuan is a dancer and roboticist whose practice examines how human-robot communications can be interpreted while progressing towards 21st century robot ubiquity. She is currently enrolled in the PhD program at Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering.
Catie collaborated with Thoughtworks developers to create a 3D visualization toolkit enabling her to rehearse her movements alongside those of different robots.
The OUTPUT project is nearing completion. A teaser can be viewed here.
Hardware Hack Lab Now Equipped With Depthkit Support
With the success and interest generated during our free Depthkit workshop in conjunction with Scatter in March, and our funded Volumetric Filmmaking residency starting in June, we’ve initiated ongoing weekly support for learning and experimenting with Depthkit at the free Hardware Hack Lab. Our aim is to make Depthkit technology and toolkits more accessible, and to help foster diverse collaborations for those who may not have the financial means to otherwise access these innovative and exciting technologies.
These weekly events have attracted hackers and filmmakers of all backgrounds who test ideas and partner on projects.
Hardware Hack Lab is open to the public every Wednesday from 6:30pm - 9:30pm, located at Thoughtworks Inc. 99 Madison Ave, 15th floor, New York, NY.
News From Past Thoughtworks Arts Residents
Moon Ribas will be a juror for this year’s Prix Ars Electronica.
Heather Dewey-Hagborg co-curated Refiguring The Future, a politically engaged exhibition focusing on inclusion, and how the intersection of art, science and technology is an explicitly key force in radical change. This was REFRESH’s inaugural exhibition, which received a Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant.
Updates From Art-A-Hack™ Alumni
Tyler Parker had a debut as a tenor in Frederick Fleet in The Village Light Opera Group presents: TITANIC the Musical!
Rena Anakwe presents The Cosmology Of Water, an interactive performance, during her residency at Issue Project Room.
Sharon de la Cruz was a guest speaker and educator at Processing Community Day at Medios Interactivos USFQ.
Andrew McWilliams will present RIOT: Recognizing Human Facial Expressions In A Climate Of Fear for a lightning talk at Creative Tech Week NYC on May 10th at 3pm.
Andrew McWilliams, Ellen Pearlman, and Catie Cuan: OUTPUT: Translating Robot and Human Movers Across Platforms in a Sequentially Improvised Performance - From the 2019 AISB (The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour) Machine Movement Lab at Falmouth University, UK.
- PBS Features Thoughtworks Arts Resident & Interaction Technology by the Residency Team
- EmoPy: A Machine Learning Toolkit For Emotional Expression by Angelica Perez
- Industrial Robotics and Human Movement: New Experiments by the Residency Team
- Recognizing Human Facial Expression With Machine Learning by Angelica Perez
- How Arts Programs Drive Innovation at Thoughtworks by Andrew McWilliams
- How Artists Are Reshaping Emerging Technology Research by Andrew McWilliams
- Robotics Artists Begin Their Residencies at Thoughtworks by the Residency Team
- Karen Palmer: The Film That Watches You Back by the Residency Team
- Adrianne Wortzel and Catie Cuan Awarded Robotics Residency by the Residency Team
- Thoughtworks Arts Exhibition at SPRING/BREAK for Armory Week 2018 by the Residency Team
- How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming the Criminal Justice System by Stephanie Weber
- Industrial Design Process for the ‘Time Sense’ Prototype by Oryan Inbar
- Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Chelsea Manning show at Fridman Gallery by Ellen Pearlman
- Welcoming Karen Palmer to the Thoughtworks Arts Residency by the Residency Team
- Presenting Our Art & Technology Projects at TEDxVilnius by Andrew McWilliams
- Karen Palmer Awarded Thoughtworks AI Residency by the Residency Team
- Why We Are Investigating the Biases of Artificial Intelligence by the Residency Directors
- Welcoming Hannes Bend to the Thoughtworks Arts Residency by the Residency Team
- Suppressed Images: Advocating for Chelsea Manning’s Release by the Residency Team
- Developing a Cyborg Time Sense: Research and Experimentation by Andrew McWilliams
- Global Visioning Session with the Cyborgs by Andrew McWilliams