Boston Dynamics’ robotic dogs are being trained to present art at the National Gallery of Victoria.
The famous artist Agnieszka Pilat will train the robotic dogs for four months.
He is training three robotic dogs to present paintings at the National Gallery of Victoria’s next exhibition.
One of the robotic dogs, Spot, lives with the artist in New York, and Pilate named him Basia.
The three robots are now painting with oil pens on an acrylic canvas attached to the wall to eventually be exhibited at the Victoria National Triennial Exhibition, which will be held in Melbourne this December.
Pilate sees Basia’s robot as a companion and says he will miss it when he paints in Melbourne.
He explains: “It’s like having a small child. At some point, you must let the child ride the bus alone.” It feels like that.
Boston Dynamics had previously commissioned Pilate to paint a portrait of Spot, and that’s how he got to know these cars better.
“I thought of it as a new celebrity,” he said. Portraits reflect power in society. Andy Warhol painted famous people, and the old pictures showed the aristocracy.
Now the power is going to the machines, and we must engage with it. It is up to us as their parents to engage and nurture them to be good future citizens.
Partners of humanity
He describes the robotic animals as “playful” and “human partners” and says that when people meet Spot in person, the vast majority fall in love with it very quickly. It’s hard not to be attracted to them because they are so cute.