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Modern Art on Ice: HSE Business Incubator Launches ArtBotMoscow

Modern Art on Ice: HSE Business Incubator Launches ArtBotMoscow

© HSE University

Artists and designers from anywhere in the world will be able to display their work on the ice of Chistye Prudy in the centre of Moscow. Those interested should take part in the ArtBotMoscow competition organised by the HSE University Business Incubator. The winning sketch will be printed on the ice by a robot.

The event is organised with the support of ArtTech, an accelerator for technology projects aimed at solving the problems of the modern art market (part of the HSE University Business Incubator—enrolment starts in spring 2022), the robotics laboratory of NUST MISIS (where the robot was developed), and the Aviatsmit company.

Applications for the competition are open from February 8–24. Submission topics include science, technology and folk art, as well as traditional Russian symbols. The competition is being held as part of the Year of Folk Art and Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Peoples of Russia.

For more information about the competition and the application process, please see the contest webpage.

The winners of the competition will be determined by an expert jury, which includes representatives of the HSE University Business Incubator, the Robotics Laboratory of NUST MISIS, representatives of the ArtTech Department of MISIS, and Georgy Bondar, head and chief designer of the ArtBotMoscow project.

Georgy Bondar

‘Our competition will be of interest to artists and designers, because they can show their work to a wider audience. It also provides new creative opportunities for them—our robot is a 21st-century artist's brush that allows you to apply images of any size to any space.’ 

The results will be announced on February 26. The final round will be held on February 27, and the winning submission will be printed on the ice on Chistye Prudy the same day. All entries selected by the jury for the final round will feature in the online exhibition on the event's website.

The drawing on the ice of Chistye Prudy will be printed by the robot using organic, environmentally friendly blue paint. In preparation for the project, MISIS University, with the support of the Materials Science Department, conducted a study of food paints, made a control purchase of more than 30 types, and chose the best and safest one. The paint is made from algae and ethanol. When applied to ice, the paint will form a thin layer and the ethanol will evaporate into the atmosphere. After the ice melts, the paint will dissolve in the water without harming the ecosystem.

Marina Ledentsova

‘It was very important for the HSE Business Incubator to support this project, because it is at the intersection of art and technology. This spring, we are launching the ArtTech accelerator for technological projects aimed at solving the problems of the modern art market,’ says Marina Ledentsova, head of the ArtTech accelerator of HSE University Business Incubator. ‘We will be glad to see submissions that match the competition theme. Participants should pay attention to the variety of cultural attributes and traditions of the different peoples of Russia—matryoshka dolls, ushankas, and the birthdays of famous people immediately come to mind. Submissions will be assessed according their compliance with the competition theme, the originality of the idea, aesthetic image, easy implementation and compliance with the robot’s technical capabilities. The image must be monochrome with a colour depth of 1 bit. At the moment, the technology doesn’t allow us to use multiple colors in printing, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.’

Project head Georgy Bondar is a student of NUST MISIS and a prize-winner of the HSE Fest technological projects competition at the university’s St Petersburg campus.

‘For us, this project is a business idea. In the future, we want to print these kinds of images on sports fields and hockey rinks. Just imagine: the match is in full swing, and the players are moving around a field with your company's logo on it. The robot is versatile—it can apply paint to any surface. And we can see that businesses are interested in this format or even something bigger, something that will be visible from space. It can be used to advertise companies and events,’ explains Georgy Bondar. ‘When we were just coming up with the project, we shared our idea with the director of CSKA Arena, and he supported us. He says it will be in great demand: hockey players often propose to their girlfriends in the rink, and they would love to share their feelings in such an unusual way. The robot’s work is very high-quality, clear and bright. The paint itself is applied in a thin layer and is easily washed off the next day. It is beautiful, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly—there’s nothing but benefits.’

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