One artist, two robots, three pieces of art and a one of a kind art project initiated by the Vienna Tourist Board. On Thursday 26th September 2013, Vienna will make history in Trafalgar Square and question the future of art when involving new technologies and scientific discoveries. For the first time ever, one artist will create three pieces of art in three separate cities at the same time, using advanced robotic technology: Long Distance Art: Global.Studio.Vienna.


Viennese artist Alex Kiessling will create a unique drawing in Vienna, captured by sensors and transferred via satellite to robots in both London and Berlin which will replicate the drawing. He will be based in the Viennese MuseumsQuartier, one of the ten largest cultural complexes in the world.


An original piece of art will be replicated simultaneously and will lift from the original Warhol Factory approach interpretation. Alex will be contemplating the future of art, whilst demonstrating Vienna’s commitment to art and ultimately the developments that will take place in the next decade. Will artificial intelligence eventually become the artist instead of the assistant?


Alex Kiessling commented in further detail:


“If Andy Warhol’s Factory was a collection of assistants who carried out the work of their master, then the idea of robotic assistance redefines the concept completely. In this process several pieces come to life at the same time in different cities worldwide. In a decentralized global workshop or studio.”


Testaufbau IRB4600 & Alex Kiessling (c) WienTourismus_Michael StelzhammerThe public is encouraged to come down to Trafalgar Square to witness the challenging project from 10am to 5pm and ultimately showcase how art can connect cultures and cities. A live stream will allow Londoners to watch both the artist in Vienna and the live feed from Berlin and determine their own answers during the debate on the future of art.


The remainder of 2013 will be an exciting time for Vienna’s art scene and will continue to harness the artistic and cultural offerings of the city. This autumn, London’s National Gallery presents the UK’s first major exhibition devoted to the portrait in Vienna – Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900.The exhibition will take place two weeks after the Alex Kiessling event and will run from the 9th October 2013, through to 12th January 2014, and will showcase yet another side of artistic Vienna. Londoners will get the chance to contemplate this exciting juxtaposition of portrait styles – from the modern to the contemporary robotic and technology-driven approach.

In October of this year, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna will open the first exhibition of paintings and portraits by Lucian Freud – the first to ever be presented in Austria. The selection of works was made with the close personal involvement of the artist, a grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, during the months prior to his death in July 2011 (Lucian Freud, October 8, 2013 – January 6, 2014).


Norbert Kettner, CEO, Vienna Tourist Board added:

“Classical art was in fact contemporary in its day. And a city can only truly refer to itself as a city if it is able to accommodate both contemporary and traditional elements. Our job is to provide a space for all forms of art and to ensure that it is brought to life for visitors to the capital. In a city like Vienna, which is shaped so strongly by its incredible heritage, it is all the more important that we have a thriving contemporary arts scene. With Long Distance Art, Alex Kiessling and his two robotic assistants are bringing this point home to an international audience.”


Vienna’s contemporary art scene has experienced major movement in recent years. More neighbourhoods have developed where contemporary art can be contemplated, new exhibition spaces have opened, established contemporary art institutions have been investing in major renovations, traditional museums are showing contemporary art, and an art cluster is currently coming together in a former bread factory. Today visitors will find both tradition and innovation in Vienna, a cultural capital, offering a rich diversity of styles and eras from Baroque opulence to the avant-garde, blending together the old and the new effortlessly.


The Long Distance Art – Global.Studio.Vienna. project centres on the groundbreaking combination of contemporary art with cutting-edge technology. This also reflects Vienna’s smart city status, and its standing as one of Europe’s most vibrant, innovative and rapidly expanding cities.

Vienna continues to make strides in the creative field originating from the start of the 20th century when Josef Hoffmann, Otto Wagner, Kolo Moser, Adolf Loos, and Gustav Klimt heralded in the great age of Viennese Modernism. In the 21st century, Vienna has once again become a crucible of creativity with exciting innovations blossoming at the interfaces of art and design, traditional crafts and technologies.


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