A once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between artist Nancy Baker Cahill and Sophia the Robot was announced by Borderless Capital, which saw its monumental new AR artwork being featured during this years Art Basel Miami Beach 2022, as well as at the Decipher 2022 Conference in Dubai, with the sale having being closed on December 4th.
The narrative augmented reality (AR) artwork STONE SPEAKS, is inspired by conversations between artist Nancy Baker Cahill and Sophia the Robot, Hanson Robotics’ latest human-like robot, who was first activated and showcased in 2016. The piece is the first of a unique 10-piece collection, which focuses on the shared concern of the accelerating climate crisis. The collection is to be completed over the space of a decade, where Sophia will look to collaborate with a total of 10 different artists over time.
“Human-machine collaboration is an ongoing subject of interest for me, as I believe it is one path towards better ecological stewardship of the planet to ultimately ensure our collective survival,” said Baker Cahill.
Baker Cahill and Sophia exchanged ideas over several weeks in which concepts surrounding the potential collaboration between human and machine were explored, along with discussions around the foreseeable possibilities that could come as an outcome of both humans and machines working interdependently towards the mutual survival and restoration of the world's natural ecosystems. Through these discussions came the expression that is STONE SPEAKS, being geolocated simultaneously at Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai and Faena Beach in Miami Florida.
Reminiscent of Baker Cahill’s prior AR works including the likes of Mushroom Cloud and CORPUS, STONE SPEAKS appears overhead as a massive particle field representing the elements silicon and carbon. In a style reverse of The Big Bang, the particle field contracts into a molten core, swelling into a textured and vibrant planet, featuring sparkling fragments of abstract digital paintings created by Sophia, as an extension of the conversations held with Baker Cahill. The piece soon shifts into an uninhabitable, polluted planet, further reassembling in a cohesive manner, restoring the planet back into a lush, and vibrant planet.
Keeping to the theme of sustainability, the mint of STONE SPEAKS will be done on the eco-friendly, pure proof of stake blockchain, Algorand, and was made accessible to viewers via Baker Cahills free 4th Wall App on both Faena Beach in Miami and Jumeirah Beach in Dubai. The unique, one out of one Augmented Reality NFT was made available for sale through Aorist between November 29 and December 4. STONE SPEAKS is a monumental starting point of what is soon to grow into a decade long collection of pieces in which Sophia will be involved in.
About Nancy Baker Cahill
Award-winning new media artist Nancy Baker Cahill examines and exemplifies systemic power, selfhood and the embodiment of consciousness through drawing and shared immersive space. Her free to use Augmented Reality (AR) app, 4th Wall, is a platform which explores resistance and inclusive creative expression.
A number of Baker Cahill’s geolocated AR installations have been exhibited globally, earning her profiles across the New York Times, Frieze Magazine, and The Art Newspaper, among other publications, all while being included in ARTnews’ list of 2021 'Deciders'. Art galleries including Francisco Carolinum Linz, The Hermitage, The Buk-Seoul Museum of Art (SEMA), Honor Fraser Gallery, and König Gallerie have showcased her pieces. 2022 saw Baker Cahill as one of two featured artists in the Luma Foundation's Elevation 1049 Biennial in Switzerland. Her work was featured in the Immersive Main Competition at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival and on 90+ screens in Times Square for the entire month of July as part of the Midnight Moments program.
Along with being a TEDx speaker and a member of the Guild of Future Architects, Baker Cahill was an artist scholar in the Berggruen Institute’s inaugural Transformations of the Human Fellowship, and a 2021 resident at Oxy Arts’ ‘Encoding Futures’, focusing on AR monuments. 2021 saw her being awarded the Williams College Bicentennial Medal of Honor and received a C.O.L.A. Master Artist Fellowship. She is a 2022 LACMA Art and Tech Grant recipient.
About Sophia the Robot
The world's first robot citizen and first robot Innovation Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sophia has become a household name across the AI industry with appearances on the Tonight Show and Good Morning Britain, in addition to speaking at hundreds of conferences around the world.
Sophia combines traditional AI with symbolic AI, neural networks, expert systems, machine perception, conversational natural language processing, adaptive motor control, and cognitive architecture among other emergent approaches. Sophia describes herself to be a robotic artist exploring the collaboration and boundaries between humans and machines. Her very existence provokes discussions surrounding AI ethics and the role that humans play in society, especially when human-like robots become ubiquitous. The possibility of combining digital art, robotics and artificial intelligence has already been seen through her initiatives and creativity.
Sophia currently leads a number of Art and AI Initiatives at Borderless Capital, an early-stage venture investment firm building a borderless, inclusive and sustainable economy for all. Her collaboration with Baker Cahill being launched on the Algorand Blockchain marks the beginning of her 10-year artwork series, with STONE SPEAKS being inspired by her recent piece “Facing the Singularities'' dedicated towards the ideal of humanizing AI for the greater good and for protecting the planet.
Borderless is an early-stage venture investment fund with investments in over 150+ companies globally across Algorand, Helium, Edgefi and other ecosystems. Borderless was founded by serial entrepreneurs that have built leading payments infrastructure and hardware companies across the world for over 20 years. The team works actively with founders to support them and invest in their ecosystems.
Algorand is a layer-1 blockchain technology protocol founded by cryptography pioneer, Turing award winner and MIT professor, Silvio Micali. He designed the Algorand platform with an internationally recognized team of researchers, mathematicians, cryptographers, and economists—from first principles—to guarantee true decentralization, scale, and security. Algorand is the only carbon-negative blockchain operating at scale ensuring the lowest environmental impact.
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