The National Gallery of Victoria Has Announced Its 2023 Triennial Lineup, Featuring Three Robot Dogs Programmed to Paint

One of Agnieszka Pilat’s paintings alongside Boston Dynamics’ SPOT robot. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Among the more than 100 artists and designers that will be on display when the third NGV Triennial opens in December is Agnieszka Pilat, a Polish-American technology-centric artist who is training a trio of robotic dogs to paint autonomously for the Australian art event.

Is Pilat worried about machines threatening human creativity? No. She’s a tech optimist, one who finds Bonnie, Archie, and Basia, the dogs’ names, cute.

Throughout the four-month show, visitors will be able to watch as artistically finessed versions of the Boston Dynamics robots paint inside a large white cube. The robot dogs will be armed with sticks of oil paint that they will cast onto an acrylic canvas affixed to the wall. Their decision-making will be based on a series of commands programmed by Pilat, such as the movements of their painting arm, the pressure they exert on the canvas, and whether to paint dots or lines.

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