Mediated Drawings

During the summer of 2021 The Laboratory for Integrative Design presented an interactive week-long exhibition: Mediated Drawings. The performance launched on July 12th at the City Building Design Lab in Downtown Calgary inviting the public to engage with an interactive platform mixing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and industrial robotic arms. Bridging the divide between human spatial experience and digital perspectives, Mediated Drawings is a platform that speculates how robots and AI can augment and democratize artistic agency in creative processes. Mediated Drawings aim to introduce digital perspectives into human narratives. Participants engage with a robotically embodied Artificial Intelligence through the Mediated Drawings App. The AI reimagines Calgary corners based on semantic input from the participants. Everyone was invited to engage with different corners of Calgary – art, architecture, urban and green spaces. Participants were prompted to assign emotional meaning to these spaces. Images are imbued with emotional sense from a human perspective. An alternative machine intelligence generates original representations of these places, infused with the emotional meaning assigned by the humans. The machine intelligence then physically produces the line drawings of these speculative spaces through Freddie our robotic arm. Mediated drawings use OpenaAI CLIP to modify the learner weights of a styleGAN model based on the prompts that the public selects. It then uses canny edges to detect the lines that are drawn in the windows of the City Building Design Lab by Freddie the robot Freddie’s drawing performances were presented online and in person at the City Building Design Lab from the City Hall C-Train platform: July 12th to July 16th, 2020. A gallery of finished works was presented at the City Hall train platform for the remainder of the summer.


Principal Investigator Alicia Nahmad

LID Collaborators Guy Gardner

Graduate Research Assistants Sam Baril, Carter McHugh, Anagha Patil

Funding Agency SSHRC Connection