Sustainable Robotics residency – Selected artists

In the framework of the Sustainable Robotics residency programme, the jury selected the proposals by Dewi Brunet and A Two Dogs Company – Kris Verdonck.

The Sustainable Robotics artist residency is a project led by Ohme in partnership with the Brussels Institute for Advanced Studies – BrIAS, and with FARI – Institute of Artificial Intelligence for the Common Good, both co-founded and co-led by the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB).

A Two Dogs Company (ATDC) serves as the creative core for Kris Verdonck’s innovative projects in performing and transdisciplinary arts since 2010. Based in Brussels, ATDC operates as a network structure, collaborating with both permanent and freelance talents. Verdonck’s consistent exploration of the societal and ecological impacts of technological advancements fuels ATDC’s endeavors. His multidisciplinary approach blends theatrical and visual elements to create unique artistic expressions showcased in theaters, museums, and public spaces. 

ATDC, in collaboration with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (KBIN), proposes the project Garden of the Future. This endeavour seeks to envision a future garden shaped by biodiversity loss and the integration of self-sustaining robots. Through an exhibition at the Museum of Natural Sciences, the project aims to deploy robots mimicking ecological functions of vanished animal species. Powered by renewable energy sources and devoid of traditional batteries, these robots will demonstrate a symbiotic relationship with their environment. ATDC’s artistic expertise, coupled with KBIN’s scientific insights, will drive this exploration, fostering dialogue between art, technology, and ecology.

This residency provides a platform to develop the ‘Garden of the Future’ project further. Through technical and scientific collaborations, the project aims to refine the design and functionality of robots while deepening the artistic and ecological narratives. By leveraging expertise from the arts, robotics, and biology, the residency seeks to create an innovative and educational experience that raises awareness of ecological dynamics and the role of technology in addressing climate change.

Dewi Brunet is a folding artist. Self-taught, he has been practising this discipline for over fifteen years. Still a little-known practice, he sees folding as a technique, a medium of expression and a multi-disciplinary field of research. Today, his artistic projects focus on the sensitive relationship between the living world and robots. Dewi’s practice delves into the realm of Oribotics, a fusion of nature, origami, and robotics pioneered by Matthew Gardiner

Dewi’s project seeks to blur further the boundaries between living organisms and machines through the creation of innovative Oribotics hybrids. Building upon previous collaborations and explorations, the project aims to cultivate new imaginaries by integrating advanced crumpling and pleating techniques. By expanding reflections to encompass various life forms, including plants, fungi, bacteria, and minerals, the artist endeavors to foster a sensitive perception of belonging to the natural world while addressing sustainability challenges.

The overarching goal of the residency is to deepen the research on organic/technologic hybrids and explore new aesthetic possibilities through advanced folding techniques. By refining existing projects, Dewi aims to not only optimise technical capabilities but also reimagine exhibition spaces for enhanced viewer engagement. Furthermore, the residency serves as a platform to investigate the potential of biobased materials in addressing ecological concerns while bridging the gap between art and science.

Project partners

This residency programme is organised thanks to the support of Innoviris and the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles