Robotics and Art

ICRA'22 is proud to partner with the RAD Lab and several Philadelphia-based art galleries to offer a central space for art in its program. Building on the previous ICRA robotic art programs, this year's instalment explores aesthetic and creative influences on robot motion through interactive, expressive, and meditative robotic art installations. The exhibition and the associated workshop will provide new perspectives on imagining new technology futures.

Organizers: Damith Herath (U of Canberra), Diedra Krieger (Penn), Amy LaViers (RAD Lab), Alli Nilles (Cornell), and James Wang (Penn State)
Workshop: Automating Expressions; Monday, May 23, 2022
Exhibition:  Expressive and Meditative Machines for Imagining New Futures With Technology; Open Gallery Hours are Monday, May 23 4-6pm and Wednesday, May 25 12-2pm; A ticketed tour with curators and artists is Tuesday, May 24 5-7pm


RSVP -- and (optionally) submit a provocation -- for the workshop here.
RSVP for the exhibition during gallery open hours here
Purchase a ticket for the exhibition tour here

Email with any questions not answered here.

Workshop: Automating Expressions

Where: Pennsylvania Convention Center
When: Monday 5/23, all day, RSVP here

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Description: What are the aspects of work that can’t be -- or have not yet been -- automated? As we work to bring robots out of the factory and into humans’ everyday life, it is important to design the expression of their movement with greater care. An area of work that is promising for helping in this task is the performing arts where professionals are trained in techniques for design and description of movement. Building on a decade of robotics and arts workshops at ICRA, in this workshop, participants will explore movement from an embodied, expressive perspective and discuss the challenges of incorporating that perspective in automation. First, participants will learn about a set of concepts, terms, and principles, including notation, utilized by many dancers and actors in a mini tutorial. This tutorial will be followed by a conversation about movement notation and intellectual property. The goal of this morning session will be to attune participants to the philosophy of many movement professionals and provide key takeaways that may be of use in their research. At lunch, a live performance, featuring human dancers leveraging automation, will provide entertainment and further discussion of bodily expression. Then, in the afternoon session a panel of experts will be assembled to discuss the challenges of working in this intersectional field as prompted by provocations from junior researchers. Finally, the day will conclude with breakout sessions for targeted discussions about the benefits and challenges of working in this way and for brainstorming sessions that will hopefully spawn new collaborations and directions, strengthening and growing this long-standing community at ICRA.

Exhibition: Expressive and Meditative Machines for Imagining New Futures With Technology

Where: 319 N. 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107


Description: The Robotics and Art exhibitions, Expressive and Meditative Machines for Imagining New Futures With Technology, organized by Grizzly Grizzly and ICRA Robotics Art Workshop organizer Amy LaViers,  comprises a series of robotic art themed exhibitions at the galleries on the 2nd floor of 319 N. 11th Street. The participating galleries, Marginal Utility, Pink Noise Projects,and Grizzly Grizzly, will all be opening new exhibits to coincide with the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). Exhibits will include a site specific installation featuring Kate Ladenheim’s The Sublime Grandeur of Inconsequential Death, an interactive, inflatable anti-monument. Grizzly Grizzly’s exhibition, Illuminations, explores a father-son exhibition featuring “Tsaibernetic” sculptures by London Tsai and 2D work by his late father, Wen-Ying Tsai, a pioneer of cybernetic sculpture. In Grizzly Grizzly’s annex the exhibition Total Information Awareness, which was put on hold for 2 years because of the pandemic, features Hasan Elahi, Mike Osborne, and Jeff Thompson; artists who use information as a material, strategy for making, observing, and bringing awareness. Marginal Utility’s exhibit, Ambiguous and Alluring, Imagined by AI features Machine Learning algorithms and custom interactive systems developed by artist Eunsu Kang and her collaborators. Naomi Leonard and Susan Marshall with collaborators María Santos, Sarah Witzman, Isla Xi Han, and Kathryn Wantlin bring Rhythm Bots, an actively controlled kinetic sculpture of synchronously moving robots, to Pink Noise Projects.

Exhibition Hours during ICRA 2022

  • Monday 5/23, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM  Open gallery hours (primary audience: Robotics Art Workshop), RSVP here.
  • Tuesday 5/24, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM  Tour with the curators and artists, Wine Reception, Ticketed event. $25 per person, $10 for students, Purchase here.
  • Wednesday 5/25, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Open gallery hours. Registration requested, RSVP here.