The "Roomba lofibeats" project is an ongoing endeavor which acts like a conduit for engaging digital audiences in an experimental manner. Housed at the Mòniques residence in Santa Mònica Art Center, this project takes a unique approach towards narrating the story of the space within the center.
Under the guise of a Roomba cleaning robot, its objective is to subtly blend into the environment, without obstructing the visitor experience. This unassuming gadget is equipped with an infrared camera that's functional even in the dark, which enables it to navigate and explore when no one is present.
While the art center is closed to the public but the exhibits remain, the Roomba streams its explorations live to Twitch, a popular streaming platform. This unveils a fresh avenue for user engagement as an audience across the globe can join in and interpret the live feed from their individual perspectives.
Drawing inspiration from popular culture videos like lofibeats girl and relaxing hip hop beats, the project aims to deliver slow-paced content, creating an atmosphere of calm, much like an accompanying soundtrack to one's activities.
This robot is powered by a curiosity-driven Artificial Intelligence. It is continually on the hunt for unnoticed corners, fresh perspectives, and unique frames within the art center. It promotes a new way of viewing, focusing on capturing not only different angles of the art pieces, but also the visitors and their engagement with the center - the ones captured candidly and those who intentionally draw attention to the machine's subtle behavior.
The Roomba is programmed with an algorithm that can identify attention peaks. When these peaks are reached, the Roomba captures a photograph which is then shared across various social media platforms. Thus, these singular moments tease a freed view that leaves a lot of space for interpretation and invites the online audience to engage on an interpretation game between humans and machines.
This project came to fruition during Mòniques' residency at Santa Mònica Art Center in Barcelona and is a result of a collaborative effort with Marc Villanueva Mir.
It's code can be downloaded from https://github.com/carlitoselmago/roomba-lofibeats