Automated Art


A machine that spits out stories on demand and a robot that draws original illustrations—it’s not science-fiction, though the former contraption does dispense sci-fi shorts along with romance, humor and a host of other genres. Boston became one of just a handful of U.S. locations for French company Short Edition’s Short Story Dispenser when the Pru welcomed two machines in late May. Push a button for your free lit fix, and out comes a curling strip of paper printed with your choice of a 1-, 3- or 5-minute story selected at random from thousands of reader favorites on Short Edition’s online publishing platform. Meanwhile, Ladder District gallery Open is hosting Mind the Machine, a collaboration between MIT doctoral candidate Sarah Schwettmann and London-born, New York-based artist Shantell Martin, a former artist in residence at the MIT Media Lab known for her winding, whimsical line drawings.

Schwettmann used 300 of those drawings to develop an algorithm that generates new sketches in Martin’s style with help from an AxiDraw robotic plotter. Get a look at the originals and their machine-made counterparts at the gallery through July 21.

Prudential Center 800 Boylston St., Boston / Open, 201 South St., Boston.

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