Giant floating robots and millennia-old odors make up a new installation at Tate Modern

Written by Aimee DawsonLondon, UK

This text was initially printed by The Art Newspaper, an editorial companion of CNN Model.

Two species of clever robots have moved into some prime, Thames-side actual property: Tate Fashionable’s Turbine Corridor. Collectively named “aerobes,” the floating orbs that the New York-based artist Anicka Yi has created to inhabit the cavernous house are referred to as “planulae” (the furry, bulbous ones) and “xenojellies” (those with patterned tentacles). They make up the set up “Anicka Yi: In Love with the World,” which opened this week.

Impressed by ocean life types and mushrooms, the helium-filled shapes transfer round utilizing rotors and a small battery pack. Collectively, they create an “ecosystem” throughout the museum, Yi stated in a press assertion, interacting with their atmosphere and guests, and displaying particular person and group behaviors.

Artist Anicka Yi

Artist Anicka Yi Credit score: Ben Fisher Images/Tate Fashionable

Behind the scenes, an unimaginable quantity of AI know-how and analysis is powering this floating household. A workforce of specialists has developed the aerial autos utilizing software program that offers every a novel flight path. The software program, referred to as a synthetic life program, generates an enormous vary of journey choices for the orbs to take and due to this fact simulates the considerably unpredictable processes of pure life. This type of know-how is generally utilized in scientific research however has additionally been employed to create lifelike visible results and animations.

The robots will reply to the house and other people round them by receiving data from digital sensors positioned across the venue. The indicators have an effect on them individually and as a gaggle in order that they are going to behave otherwise upon every encounter.

“Like a bee’s dance or an ant’s scent path, the aerobes talk with one another in methods we can not perceive,” a Tate Fashionable assertion described.

Installation view of "Anicka Yi: In Love With The World" at Tate Modern, London.

Set up view of “Anicka Yi: In Love With The World” at Tate Fashionable, London. Credit score: Sonal Bakrania/Tate Fashionable

In addition to returning machines — admittedly of an altogether completely different variety — to the empty stomach of the Turbine Corridor, the center of the previous Bankside Energy Station, Yi can also be utilizing her aerobes to query concepts round intelligence and our give attention to the mind as its principal transmitter.

“Most AI capabilities like a thoughts with no physique, however dwelling organisms be taught a lot concerning the world by way of the senses,” she stated. “Data rising from being a physique on this planet, partaking with different creatures and environments, is named bodily intelligence. What if AI might be taught by way of the senses? Might machines develop their very own experiences of the world? Might they turn into unbiased from people? Might they change intelligence with vegetation, animals and micro-organisms?”

Installation view of "Anicka Yi: In Love With The World" at Tate Modern, London.

Set up view of “Anicka Yi: In Love With The World” at Tate Fashionable, London. Credit score: Will Burrard-Lucas/Tate Fashionable

The opposite factor to Yi’s work is the usage of scent: the artist has “sculpted” the air by creating what she describes as “scentscapes.” A mix of smells emitted into the house will change all through the weeks of the fee, very similar to the behaviors of the robots in residence. Yi has chosen smells impressed by the historical past of the Bankside space surrounding Tate Fashionable. These embrace marine scents from the Precambrian interval (the earliest in Earth’s historical past), odors of vegetation from the Cretaceous interval (round 145 million to 66 million years in the past), the scents of spices that had been used within the hope of counteracting the Black Demise within the 14th century, and the odor of coal and ozone from the Industrial Revolution.

The scents are supposed to remind guests of our connection to the environment and to 1 one other. “Yi is within the politics of air and the way that is affected by altering attitudes, inequalities and ecological consciousness,” the museum assertion stated. “The house isn’t empty however stuffed with the air all of us share, and on which we rely.”

“Yi’s installations are unforgettable, utilizing the newest scientific concepts and experimental supplies in sudden methods,” stated Frances Morris, the director of Tate Fashionable, in a press assertion. “The outcomes not solely interact the senses, but additionally deal with a number of the large questions we face right this moment about humanity’s relationship to nature and know-how.”

Learn extra tales from The Art Newspaper right here. | Large floating robots and millennia-old odors make up a brand new set up at Tate Fashionable

Aila Slisco

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