Rob and Nick Carter have been creating masterpieces for the last 23 years and it looks like they're not going to stop, after various collaboration and having showcased their works at Victoria & Albert Museum in London or the National Museum in Stockholm (and way more), they are becoming more and more know for Dark Factory Portraits, their most technically pioneering project yet.
The Carters are known for their creative and playful engagement with digital-age technologies. Their newseries of paintings have their genesis in a series of reports on the future of work. According to a 2013 study byresearchers at Oxford University and consulting firm Deloitte, 35% of UK jobs are liable to be fully automated by the mid 2030s. The future for artists is relatively secure according to projections, because the more a job relies on a combination of empathy, creative thinking, social intelligence and advanced levels of manual dexterity, the safer it is from the reach of the machine.
Working with a team of cutting-edge software programmers and visual effects specialists, they set out to explore howfar and how fast algorithms and moving parts could progress towards a new creative paradigm. Central to thisconversation was the artists’ desire
to use technology to execute their own ideas, and paint in a style of their choice. Over months of iterations, theyworked with the programmers to layer the code so that
the robot could paint both loosely and to a very high level of detail where necessary, executing portraits to aconsistent style envisioned by the artists. The outcome of three years of advanced research is set to unsettle, provokeand inspire.
Taking their title from ‘lights-out manufacturing’, where factories can function in the dark because robotic systems do not need to ‘see’ what they’re doing, the resulting portraits
of celebrated artists such as Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono and Damien Hirst are set to be not onlyrevolutionary works of art, but among the first cultural artefacts of a dawning age.
We went to their open gallery in West London to have a look around their career through their pieces of art "I don't know what inspires me" Rob mentions whilst he shows me around "there is so much happening that my wife and I just have a lot of ideas" he continues. But they always seem to agree when it comes to work "we are so similar when it comes to art, we're lucky otherwise we wouldn't probably able to do this".
We got to see Spectrum Circle and animated old masters from their Transforming series, alongside new video pieces of the Dark Factory Portraits as well as Yoga Photograms which will enhance the ability of Rob and Nick to create and think of something which has never been created before.
If you've watched our Instagram story on Sunday morning, thank you for going through this artistic and interesting tour of the gallery with Rob himself whilst he gave us a description of every single piece of art (did you like Postcards from Las Vegas as much as we did?), if you didn't - don't you worry! You need to head over 5A Bathurst Street, London W2 2SD to see the gallery or http://www.robandnick.com for more info!
Words by Sal F.