Listen to a Conrad Shawcross podcast on machines, music and Ada Lovelace





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For Machine Music Week, Conrad Shawcross spoke to us about The ADA Project, which features four limited edition vinyl records and a robotic installation that is now open to the public. 

For Conrad Shawcross’s ADA Project, four renowned female artists were asked to create compositions in response to a robot, programmed and hacked by the London-based artist himself. The idea was to reverse the traditional commissioning process – rather than a machine responding to music, here the machine is the primary source of inspiration. Each musician spent one week with his robot, Ada, who dances and moves according to ratios and numbers associated with Ada Lovelace, the 19th C. female mathematician credited with the first computer programme. The result is a unique, collaborative artwork consisting of four robotic choreographies, each with an intrinsically connected composition.

We invited Shawcross to talked us through The Ada Project. Have a listen below:

To coincide with Ada Lovelace day which takes place tomorrow, The ADA project launched on Friday and is now open to all free of charge.

Until the end of October, Shawcross’ robot will reside on the top floor of The Vinyl Factory’s Brewer Street Car Park, dancing on request for the public. Using a jukebox-like device, visitors will be able to select to play the four robot dances and associated compositions, which include works by Holly Herndon and Mira Calix. The four works have also been released on laser-etched, limited edition vinyl this week for those interested in adding Ada to their collection.

Shawcross attended the launch to explain his project in detail, as did the musicians involved, and of course Brewer Street Car Park’s newest resident, Ada the robot, was there too. Have a look at photos below, and scroll down for full details on how to visit The ADA Project.

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Address: The Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park (top floor)
Brewer Street, London, W1F 0LA

Dates: 11-19 October 2014 11am – 5pm
23-31 October 2014 11am – 5pm

Opening Hours: Thursday – Sunday 11am – 5pm

Admission: Free

Travel: Nearest stations are Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus

Photos by Marco Walker.

More from Machine Music Week:

Watch our short film on the first ever computer music compilation Cybernetic Serendipity Music

It’s a woman’s world: Ada’s top 10 techno records

The pioneering women of electronic music – An interactive timeline

Listen to the sound of the internet

Computer World: Why Cybernetic Serendipity Music is the most important and neglected compilation in electronic music

The synth that made the music: 10 artists whose sound was defined by the EMS VCS3