6 Robots Named Paul by Patrick Tresset – Setmore

What’s a computer-scientist-turned-painter to do when the medication to treat his bipolar disorder strips him of his passion to create art? Return to his tech roots, and create a robot who can draw in his old style, of course.

Tresset’s robot, Paul, is “an obsessive drawing entity,” that can mimic the behavior and movements of an artist engrossed in a freehand sketch. When a subject sits for Paul, its camera ‘eyes’ pan up and down as the pen in its ‘hand’ scribbles frantically on the paper in front of it. The end result is a sketch drawn in Tresset’s own style.

“A few years back I read an article by Michel Houellebeck, the French writer, and in this article he talks about cloning as a way to reach immortality. If you have a clone of yourself, and this clone clones himself, and so on and so forth, you reach a form of immortality. But the problem with this theory is that you lose your skills. So I think the solution for that is to take the best of yourself and put it in a robot, then if people repair the robot you can reach a certain form of immortality.” —Patrick Tresset

Six of Tresset’s Paul robots are on display next month at the Merge Festival in London’s Bankside. Festival attendees can book a free appointment (with Setmore!) to sit for five of the six robots, to have their portrait sketched from five different angles. The resulting sketches are displayed together as part of the exhibition.

Bankside’s Merge Festival starts tomorrow, September 19th, and runs through October 21st. 6 Robots Named Paul is on display October 10th – October 21st. For more information, visit Merge Festival’s official site.

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