UK artist takes industrial robots to Tokyo – video

UK artist takes industrial robots to Tokyo – video

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By Nick Flaherty

UK artist Jason Bruges has developed a robotic art installation in Tokyo alongside the 2021 Olympics supported by an electronics representative firm.

The installation, called ‘The Constant Gardeners’, is in Ueno Park in Tokyo and features robots raking a Zen gravel garden with patterns that mimic athletes in action. The project is the artist’s most ambitious project to-date and his first in Japan.

“The artwork draws inspiration from the traditional Zen garden and from sportspeople who perfect their movements to excel in their fields,” said Bruges. “It uses industrial robots, reclaimed from a lifetime of working in factory foundries, to reflect on the role of machines in our daily lives and suggest a new narrative around robotics, highlighting their potential for experimental creativity.

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The installation was supported by Intralink which represents European firms in Japan and China such as software developer VNC Automotive in Cambridge and LPWAN network operator Sigfox in France. The group also supported UltraSoC prior to its acquisition by Siemens. The group is currently tracking the development of RISC-V in China, says Stewart Randall, Head of the Electronics & Embedded Software group in Shanghai.

“Intralink were highly supportive in the early stages of the project, connecting us with the right people on the ground. They have an incredible network in Japan, quickly understood what we wanted to achieve and helped us communicate our ambition to potential partners,” said Bruges of the robotic installation.

The Constant Gardeners is part of the Tokyo Tokyo Festival, running alongside the Olympics and Paralympics to bring together art, music, theatre and dance from across the world. It was commissioned by The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Arts Council Tokyo, with special support from the British Council.

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