New Artist in Oslo

The New Artist is a collaborative project started on a simple premise: make two robots, one to create art, and one to appreciate it. Like human performers and audiences, the two exist in a feedback loop in which the response of the spectator influences the course of the performance.

The current incarnation of this idea is the installation titled How to build a dishwasher. The name stems from the idea that mechanical solutions to problems reach a different optimum than the human solution, e.g. dishwashers don’t have hands. The ideal robot performance may be different than human notions, since machines may be sensitive to different qualities.

For the installation the two machines exist in an isolated universe, a theater which is their entire environment. The performer and spectator are constructed for each other, they are co-evolved, and each reflects the interests of the other. Humans are not directly involved in the performance, but as an art project, we of course are invited to observe the tableau and watch the process unfold.


The second show of The New Artist project ran from March 26 to June 12 of 2011 at Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, Norway.

The New Artist premiered March 26, 2010 to May 10, 2010 in the Keravan Taidemuseo in Finland in a show titled How to build a dishwasher, presented in conjunction with the 2010 Pixelache Festival.

The work was shown privately on December 4, 2009 to our colleagues at the Robotics Institute in an event titled The Taste of Metal to present the state of the work to the community of the institute.

Video documentation of the work has been presented at several festivals.

The project is a collaboration of Ben Brown, Geoff Gordon, Sue Ann Hong, Marek Michalowski, Paul Scerri, Axel Straschnoy, Iheanyi Umez-Eronini, and Garth Zeglin, and is produced by Piritta Puhto. Special thanks to the Studio for Creative Inquiry, Marge Myers, Golan Levin, Jennifer Brodt, the Carnegie Mellon School of Art, and the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute.