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Robots set to land in Trafalgar Square

23 August 2010

The London Design Festival has invited Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram to design the Trafalgar Square Installation for this year. Their project, entitled Outrace, gives the general public control of eight large-scale industrial robots on loan from an Audi manufacturing line. Visitors to the square as well as the global web audience can send large scale, three dimensional light messages through the installation via from 16 to 23 September 2010.

Outrace is a popup factory; a temporary production facility for writing holographic messages. Visitors to Trafalgar Square and a remote global public can take control over the eight robots by logging on to the project website with a mobile device or computer and broadcasting a short text message which is subsequently transcribed as real-time light traces.

Light heads attached to the synchronized mechanical arms make use of LED technology from the Audi R15 TDI race car, winner of this year’s LeMans 24-hour race. The heads trace letters in the air with spectacular precision. As a user’s message is drawn, the light trace is simultaneously recorded through a system of high definition, long-exposure cameras, encoded as a video and relayed back to be shared across social media.

Weisshaar and Kram allow visitors a glimpse into Audi’s 21st century automotive manufacturing processes by relocating technology from its everyday context behind factory walls to London’s most public square.

Over the last ten years, Trafalgar Square has become a platform for innovation and experimentation in the arts, with its famous fourth plinth becoming a setting for a sequence of contemporary artworks by Anthony Gormley, Thomas Schütte and the square itself for Installations by Tom Dixon and Jaime Hayon during the London Design Festival.

For more information about the London Design Festival click here.

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