The Barry Art Museum presents 'Motion/Emotion: Exploring Affect from Automata to Robots'

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The Barry Art Museum presents 'Motion/Emotion: Exploring Affect from Automata to Robots'
Elizabeth King and Richard Kizu-Blair, What Happened, 1991. Remastered for high-definition video 2008, silent stop-motion animation, two minutes. Image courtesy of Elizabeth King.

NORFOLK, VA.- The Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University announced its new exhibition, “Motion/Emotion: Exploring Affect from Automata to Robots,” on view Feb. 10 to Dec. 31, 2022.

This exhibition, presented by The George and Grace Dragas Family Foundation and Dragas Companies, investigates the emotional qualities of automata and robots by exploring parallels in the works from the Barry Art Museum’s permanent collection, the work of contemporary artists Elizabeth King and Joseph Morris, and the science of robots.

Renowned for her multimedia works, King uses classic materials, such as glass, bronze and ceramics, to create intimate sculptures and self-portraits. These works come to life and blur the boundaries of figurative and virtual through stop-frame animation.

Using time as a medium, Morris considers embodiment through short-lived mechanical sculpture. Built from ordinary materials and designed to invoke the physicality of breathing, dancing and movement, these seemingly living sculptures eventually self-destruct.

A showcase of Old Dominion University projects and new collaborations demonstrate ODU’s cutting-edge research in robotics and intelligence applied in military and health-care sectors.

“Using the organizing factor of humanoid robots has allowed us to assemble a comprehensive cross-section of contemporary artists and scientists that explore the myriad of ways that robots evoke emotion,” said Charlotte Potter Kasic, executive director of the Barry Art Museum. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to debut works researched, developed and fabricated by ODU faculty and alumni for industrial applications staged alongside artistic interpretations.”

“Motion/Emotion” is curated by Sara Woodbury, a doctoral candidate in American studies at The College of William & Mary. The Barry Art Museum’s curation and programs are guided by a team of Exhibition Advisory Committee members and organizations, including Peter Eudenbach, ODU art department; Tina S. Gustin, ODU School of Nursing; Khan Iftekharuddin, interim dean of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology; and Petros Katsioloudis, Darden College of Education and Professional Studies.

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