You couldn’t necessarily call him a cyborg, or a magician, but artist Alex Kiessling has managed to use robotic arms to create artworks in three separate cities simultaneously. The project, called Long Distance Art, incorporates satellite feeds and industrial robots, acting as an extension of the artist’s hand around the globe. While Kiessling himself was drawing and painting in Vienna, the robots physically mimicked him in London and Berlin.
The piece itself sets up an interesting dialogue between street artists and telepresence. By introducing communications technology into his art practice, Kiessling has raised the bar of the mobility of street art, altering the context of graffiti to that of a global scale. He is also broadcasting and globalizing his own personal ‘tag’, or his identity as a street artist. The robots have allowed him to transcend the confines of space and location, making living in the city whose streets are the canvas unnecessary. As robots and technology become more available and affordable, it becomes easier for an artist to replicate this identity through their artwork. Kiessling’s project also marks an historic moment for graffiti itself by being able to extend the sociopolitical power of graffiti into separate cultural contexts.
To view a video of the project in action, click here.