SXSW Art Program Installation - “Stone Speaks” by Nancy Baker Cahill x Sophia the Robot
STONE SPEAKS is a monumental, narrative augmented reality artwork inspired by conversations between artist Nancy Baker Cahill and Sophia the Robot. Commissioned by Borderless Capital to reimagine climate crisis solutions, the artists exchanged thoughts about the accelerating climate crisis on our imperiled planet, and the adaptive potential of human-machine collaboration.
The work first appears as a massive particle field comprised of silicon and carbon elements. In a reverse Big Bang, the particle field contracts into a molten core, and then swells into a vibrant planet, textured with digital paintings created by Sophia as an extension of her conversation with Baker Cahill. The final resulting work speaks to the poetics of human-machine collaboration—what might be possible if they worked interdependently toward mutual survival and a robust restoration of the world’s natural ecosystems?
HOW TO VIEW THE WORK:
Please head to 900 W Riverside Dr Austin, TX 78704 to activate the AR experience
Scan the above QR code to download the 4th Wall App. Select “Allow all permissions” (4th Wall does not collect user data)
Open the app. Select “Coordinates”. An arrow will direct you to the artwork and the experience will launch.
Use the camera icons at the bottom of the screen to record the experience. When prompted, allow 4th Wall to access your photos to save your recordings directly to your camera roll. When recording video, once you tap the video icon, all icons will disappear. To end recording, tap screen and the icons will reappear. All videos and photos will be stored in your photo folder.
Please be sure sound is enabled - sound is a crucial part of this experience
Share your photos and recordings on any social media and tag @nancybakercahill @realsophiarobot @4thwallapp @algorand @aorist.art
Nancy Baker Cahill & Sophia the Robot, STONE SPEAKS, 2022
Sound design by Caleb Craig
AR Production by Shaking Earth Digital
About Nancy Baker Cahill
Nancy Baker Cahill is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist whose hybrid practice focuses on systemic power, consciousness, and the human body. She creates research-based immersive experiences, video installations, and conceptual blockchain projects rooted in the history of drawing. Her monumental augmented reality (AR) artworks extend and subvert the lineage of land art, often highlighting the climate crisis, civics, and a desire for more equitable futures. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of 4th Wall, a free AR public art platform exploring site interventions, resistance, and inclusive creative expression.
About Sophia the Robot
Sophia is the world’s first robot citizen and the first robot Innovation Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Sophia combines traditional AI with symbolic AI, neural networks, expert systems, machine perception, conversational natural language processing, adaptive motor control, and cognitive architecture among other emergent approaches. She describes herself as a robotic, artistic being exploring the collaboration boundaries between humans and machines and Sophia’s very existence provokes public discussion regarding AI ethics and the role humans play in society, especially when human-like robots become ubiquitous. Her creativity pushes the boundaries of what's possible by combining digital art, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.