This Autonomous Robot Creates Interpretive Works Of Art

robot paulOne of the abilities that distinguishes humans from animals is the ability to create art. Sure, animals do some cool stuff, but there’s usually a practical reason, rather than an aesthetic one (with the exception of the Kraken). Until fairly recently, humans figured that the desire and ability to create art separated us from robots too, but robotic musicians and other art-generating robots call this once-unique ability into question. Still, most of those robots are programmed to play, and it’s not as though they’re mechanical Beethovens, applying what they’ve learned about musical theory to their own skills to create unique scores. Recently, artist and roboticist Patrick Tresset decided to create a robot that can autonomously create artwork inspired by its own interpretation of its environment.

Tresset has been making robots for a while—namely, upgraded versions of a robot he calls Paul, which he calls a “creative prosthetic,” originally designed when he had a terrible case of painter’s block. A few years ago he created Paul and Pete (I have to wonder if there’s a Mary on the way), robots that sketched human faces using facial recognition technology and showed off their stuff at London’s Tenderpixel gallery. Now, many iterations later, Tresset has developed Paul-IX in an attempt to explore the question of whether robots can autonomously create “artifacts that stand as artworks”—specifically, artworks that comment on the human condition.


Now You Can Own One Of Those Unearthed E.T. Games For Yourself, Here’s How

Atari E.T.Do you feel like paying a lot of money for a piece of trash that has been buried for decades and only recently unearthed? Did I mention that it’s a piece of historical trash, sort of, depending on your perspective and what you consider important. There’s been a great deal of talk lately about the E.T. Atari cartridges that were thrown in a hole in New Mexico 30 years ago and that were dug up recently. Now, if you’re in the market for such a trinket, you can buy one to call your very own. It probably won’t work, even if you do have the appropriate console, if that’s what you’re looking for, but by all accounts, this is the worst videogame ever made, so you’re probably not missing out on much.

The Tularosa Basin Historical Society in Alamagordo, New Mexico, which organized the dig and owns all of the unearthed cartridges, recently put 99 of them up for auction on eBay. Some of these, which all come with a certificate of authenticity, lest someone pay lots of money for actual garbage, have already reached upwards of $500, which sounds like a lot for a terrible game that you can’t play.


Art Show Imagines Blade Runner 2054 And Other Sequels That Never Were

Science fiction film history is filled with fascinating projects that never quite came together, a steady stream of “what if?” projects in a genre fixated and propelled along by that very question. We’re talking about Steven Spielberg’s Night Skies, the batshit-crazy project that evolved into E.T.; or Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune, or a William Gibson-scripted Alien 3. Those daydream speculations about movies we wish were real is at the heart of Los Angeles art gallery iam8bit’s new show “Sequel.” Described as “part tribute and part cultural commentary,” the show opens this week at the gallery on Sunset Boulevard, and features a ton of artists creating poster art for films that never were, such as Blade Runner 2054 (art by Cory Schmitz).



This Week’s Walking Dead Was Almost Censored, We Try To Figure Out Why

AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead is known for being brutal and violent and, especially for a show on basic cable, startlingly gory at times. Still, as vicious as the show can be, and as it continues to push boundaries, that doesn’t mean it can get away with anything, and the most recent episode of season 5, “Self Help,” or at least part of it, was almost censored.

Just a heads up, if you haven’t watched “Self Help” yet, we’re going to get into some major SPOILERS. So if you haven’t watched, and you actually care, stop reading, because if you complain about it later we’re just going to smack our heads into the wall.

The Walking Dead

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Ghostbusters And Mythbusters Vie For Lyrical Supremacy In This Epic Rap Battle

This is a thing that happens frequently on the Internet now, fictional character are pitted against one another in rap battles to test their hypothetical lyrical skills, and this time it’s two different crews of busters: Ghostbusters versus Mythbusters. Actually, I guess only one of the parties in this video is entirely fictional, but with a theme like this, it’s easy enough to overlook that in the most recent installment of Epic Rap Battles of History.

If you’ve encountered any of these videos before, you already know what to expect out of this new one. They’re fun enough for what they are, and if you’re into such things, this should prove to be a reasonably good time, or at least an adequate way to kill three minutes or so while you’re trying to run out that last bit of clock at work. Just try to keep the chuckles to a minimum so the people in the cubes around you don’t know that you’re up to anything fishy.


Beyond Skyline Adds These Two Insane Martial Arts Stars To The Cast

Iko UwaisWhile I am decidedly not a fan of 2010’s low-budget alien invasion flick Skyline, in the wake of the announcement that it’s getting a sequel, there are apparently a lot more people out there who are totally stoked on this than I initially expected. And while I wasn’t particularly on board with Beyond Skyline at first, I’m getting there, because they’re putting together one hell of a cast. It’s like they asked who I want to see fight aliens on screen and they’re putting them all in one movie. The latest additions are Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian, and if you don’t know them, you should.

Uwais and Ruhian are two of the stars of Gareth Evan’s batshit crazy martial arts epics The Raid and The Raid 2 (also known as The Raid: Redemption and The Raid: Berendal in some regions). These are two of the most insane action movies in recent memory, and probably the best martial arts movies since the first Ong Bak. (They’re also both in Evan’s Merantau, which his great as well.)