Semi-Permanent to feature world’s first Twitter robot art

Semi-Permanent to feature world’s first Twitter robot art

Thought Semi-Permanent was just about soaking up inspiration from top designers, illustrators, artists, and other creative minds?

Well, yes, it's all that, but it's also going to be home to what’s believed to be the world’s first art painted by Twitter-controlled bots.

Robots, social media, spray cans and three of the world’s leading creatives will be coming together to collaborate on Orcon Spider Art.

Conference speakers Barcelona graphic designer and illustrator Alex Trochut, Melbourne design studio SouthSouthWest and New York artist, designer and printmaker Kelli Anderson are each gifting bespoke stencils that will be affixed over three giant canvases to enable the creation of three artworks by specially designed robots controlled remotely by the Twitter community.

At the conference (which runs from 18-19 May) attendees will receive details on how to get involved.

Guests tweet the coordinates of a square on the grid of their chosen artwork, the colour they’d like it painted and the Orcon Spider Art Twitter hashtag – then watch as the spiderbots spray paint as commanded.

At the end of the conference, once all squares have been painted, the stencils will be removed from the three canvases to reveal the final artworks. Two of the finished artworks will be won by participants, while the third will be gifted to CanTeen.

The bots were devised for Orcon by M&C Saatchi and created by the London arm of New Zealand creative agency We Love Inc.

Orcon brand and communications manager Quentin Reade says, “Spiders, Twitter and artwork are unusual bedfellows, but we’re really excited about seeing this whole thing unfold and bringing another world-first to New Zealanders. We’ve always said the internet is everything, and now it’s changing the way we create art.”

M&C Saatchi digital producer Matt Ravenhall says the project is a great example of how technology can lead innovation in both design and art.

“Using technology and creativity to connect international artists with the social sphere is an exciting project for any company to undertake. This collaboration is a perfect example of what can be achieved when you combine high-speed internet and developing technology – we can’t wait to see the finished art.”

The spiderbots took 12 weeks to create and Nick Redwood, technical director of We Love Inc’s creative technology department We Love I.T., says a lot of trial, error and paint fumes were involved in the development process.

“Innovative projects such as this one are not for the faint-hearted and require some serious bravery from everyone involved, but the chance to do something new and world-first makes it all worth it.

“Twelve weeks and thousands of hours prototyping, testing, making, breaking and remaking are all part of it – from our studio in Hoxton, East London to the studio on K'Rd in Auckland," says Redwood.

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