Skip to main content

This artist attached himself to a giant robot to paint his latest masterpiece

RoboAction A1 D1 with Dragan Ilic
Whoever said that art needed to be humorless, chin-stroking stuff most likely never strapped themselves to a giant industrial robot arm to be used as a human paintbrush for a big abstract painting.

One painter who was willing to subject himself to such treatment is 68-year-old Serbian artist Dragan Ilic. The work in question is dubbed DI-2K4, and it’s a statement on mankind’s ever-increasing subservience to the machine world.

It’s an impressive display, which is as much about the creation of the work itself as it is about the finished product. According to a write-up of the work, the machine had its exact moves programmed in advance, although there remains the risk that it may not operate as planned — opening up the possibility of “serious injury or even … the possible death of the artist.”

RoboAction A1 K1 [by: Dragan Ilic]

“The performative act of drawing or painting ceases to be an exclusively human activity and this simulation on the whole suggests to us both the repetitiveness involved in technological production, as well as representing a new stage of ritual or transgressive experiences of the author himself,” wrote art historian Vladimir Bjeličić in his appraisal of the work. “It is in this constellation in which the machine controls and steers man — as he is trying to steer and guide the trace being made over the white surface – that these robotized compositions are created (on the floor or wall), compositions which require in their very procedure the assuming of an associative perspective.”

Okay, so there’s a bit of humorless chin-stroking about the whole thing, but it still looks like it’d be a heap of fun. Even if it is a possible glimpse into how Skynet’s more artistic Terminators will treat us when the inevitable rise of the machines takes place.

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
Tormented robot pulls a gun on its creators in latest Boston Dynamics spoof
tormented robot pulls a gun on its creators in boston dynamics spoof bosstown

Boston Dynamics: New Robots Now Fight Back

Boston Dynamics has made a name for itself building incredibly agile and skillful robots, its steady stream of demonstration videos never failing to impress. And scare us a little, too.

Read more
Engineer turns his old Apple lle into an wheeled robot, and even gives it a sword
apple iie robot

Apple IIe Robot

The Apple IIe is making a comeback. More than a quarter century after the last of Apple’s “enhanced” Apple II models rolled off the conveyor belt, the machine has found its way back into the news cycle. First, there was the story of Fordham University law professor John Pfaff, who found his childhood IIe -- still in working order -- in his parents’ attic 30 years after he last switched it on. Now, a talented software engineer named Mike Kohn has topped that story by unveiling the world’s first Apple IIe robot, a wheeled creation that looks like the mutant offspring of an Apple II and a Roomba.

Read more
Scribit graffiti robot climbs your walls to draw (and erase) giant artwork
scribit wall drawing robot ces 2019 floor photo 1



Read more