Today I discovered a Portuguese artist called Leonel Moura. Being nominated European Ambassador for Creativity and Innovation in 2009, this artist explore an idea that I realized while doing the videoshop for The Drawing Robot: artificial creativity.


Since 2000 I have been working with artificial intelligence and robotics applied to art.

From the start my intention was to develop what can be coined “artificial creativity” stemming from what is now largely accepted as “artificial intelligence”.

I believe to have demonstrated that machines, since provided with a small intelligence and the ability to gather information by their own means (sensors), can generate what can be easily seen as an “artistic behavior” originating pictorial compositions not very distinct from those produced by human artists. I discard the relevance of the lack of intentionality and consciousness in robots.

It is well known that in modern art history there are many examples of art movements and artists that aimed to achieve precisely those goals. Actually modern art is rooted on the exploration beyond common sense reasoning towards the fields of subjectivity, experimentalism, randomness and more recently chaotic determinism and emergence.

Machines can in fact “do their own things” since, once the process is triggered, the result is not only independent from the human that originate it as it is unpredictable. This means that the product of “artificial creativity” is human at the start but nonhuman at the end.

These experiments also show that creativity is essentially a biological and evolutionary mechanism. We find it in the behavior of all living organisms.

To accept the existence of nonhuman art has more to do with philosophy than with facts. It must be taken in account that the broadening of the concept “art” is what modern art is really about. Nonhuman art is just another (big) step.


The video above shows one of this robots called RAP (Robotic Action Painter), which has a set of sensors to avoid obstacles, to perceive the presence of visitors near the case, to check the paper, and most important to detect color. A total of 9 RGB color sensors, located under the robot body and disposed in a 3 x 3 grid, permanently scans an area of approximately 3cm2.

RAP will be operating under a Random Mode until a certain amount of color (threshold) is detected. In this mode the robot makes a kind of sketch, randomly drawing a series of lines. The shape, size, direction and color of these lines are also drawn in a randomly way. In this sense it never produces the same lines or the same combination of lines.



Thank you Caio for the tip! :D