On September 26th the Vienna Tourist Board hosted an event where Alex Kiessling created artworks not only in Vienna, but simultaneously in Berlin, at Breitscheidplatz, and London, at Trafalgar Square.
Alex used two industrial robots (ABB IRB 4600) who were fed by real-time tracking data from Vienna via a satellite connection to the remote cities. The result was three artworks that were later brought together to built a triptych.
By reading data from an infra-red touch frame and a Microsoft Kinect we analyzed the movements of the artist and then the data was translated to feed the coordinates to the robots’ servers — a difficult process since the robots’ software was not designed to interpret real-time data. The robots then recreated the movements of the artist and drew their interpretation of Alex’s drawing in real time. The data was transmitted from Vienna to Berlin and London using a dedicated satellite connection.
Testing was essential
For this project we were doing two longer test runs with various tracking- and communication set-ups. For a project like this, a proof of concept is needed to plan the actual event in detail. Our testing phase lasted from March 2013 until September 2013. Find pictures from the test set-ups below.
Also we produced a series of teaser videos during the preparation to be featured in various online video portals and social media channels.