Dubai Expo 2020
Cities Tango: Leicester+Dubai is one of two Art AI Festival 2021 artworks that is co-located in Leicester and in the British Pavilion in Dubai at the Dubai Expo 2020.
In October 2021, millions of visitors from across the world will travel to Dubai for the start of Expo 2020, a six-month long celebration of technology, culture, education and business at which countries from around the world will showcase their very best innovations in areas like space exploration, AI, healthcare, arts, culture and sustainability.
Each country will have its own pavilion at the 4.38 square kilometre Expo site, being constructed in south Dubai.
The UK pavilion is being operated by the Government’s Department of International Trade (DIT) and De Montfort University, one of the Art AI Festival supporters, is working closely with the team as one of the pavilion’s only official founding partners. This means De Montfort University will have a continuous presence at one of the world’s biggest, highest-profile exhibitions, showing the world its high-impact research, innovative approaches to sustainability, and creating unparalleled experiences for students through the event.
De Montfort University is supporting the co-location of Cities Tango: Leicester+Dubai at the Expo.
About Cities Tango
Cities Tango: Leicester+Dubai displays images of and from each location. Images are dynamically revealed within an otherwise abstract structure. A set of identical shots, taken at different times of day, are interlaced with colour stripes and shown in the other city. Each city, and the people in them, interact with one another across time zones.
The colours, stripes and timings used are driven by movements at each location. From time to time the installation reveals real time images, influenced by each local audience. Immediate responses to movement are seen by the audience in their location. The live connection is sensed through the real time images.
In each place there are two sites (nodes). One is an urban screen which loops a movie generated from the activity at the second node in that city and is regularly updated. The second is interactive using a computer and camera connected to a display, showing an ever-changing blend of colour bands and images from the other city (connected over the Internet).
What is seen depends on the movement of people in front of the display and on what is happening in the twin city. In each location the work detects images from the locations and reacts to motion detected. At the same time, analysed image information is sent over the internet to the other location to further influence the work’s behaviour.
Ernest Edmonds is a pioneer computer artist for whom combining creative arts practice with creative technologies has been a life-long pursuit.
In 2017 he won the ACM SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art. The only other UK artist to be so recognized is the late Harold Cohen. Edmonds transdisciplinary achievements are demonstrated by the fact that in 2017 he was also awarded ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award for Practice in Human-Computer Interaction. Having shown his work internationally for over 50 years, he has recently exhibited in Venice, Leicester, London, Denver, Vancouver, Beijing, Shanghai, and Rio de Janerio. His work is described in “Generative Systems Art: The Work of Ernest Edmonds” (Franco, Routledge, 2017).
Edmonds is Emeritus Professor of Computational Art at De Montfort University and Chairman of the Board of ISEA International, whose main activity is the annual International Symposium on Electronic Art that began in 1988.
Edmonds has published over 400 books and papers, and exhibited his art across the globe. He recently exhibited in Venice, Leicester, London, Denver, Vancouver, Beijing, Shanghai, and Rio de Janerio. His work is described in the Routledge book by Francesca Franco, “Generative Systems Art: The Work of Ernest Edmonds”. His most recent book is “The Art of Interaction: what HCI can learn from Interactive Art”, published by Morgan & Claypool. He is Founding Editor of the journal Knowledge Based Systems, an Honorary Editor of Leonardo and Editor-in-Chief of Springer’s Cultural Computing book series.