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Artist uses robots to create art in three cities

Austrian artist Alex Kiessling creates a drawing in Vienna September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
Austrian artist Alex Kiessling creates a drawing in Vienna September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

VIENNA (Reuters) - An Austrian artist enlisted the help of two robots on Thursday to create a work of art simultaneously in Vienna, London and Berlin in what he called a world first.

Alex Kiessling used an infra-red sensor to trace the movements of his pen and send the signal via satellite to the industrial robots on Trafalgar Square and Breitscheidplatz that reproduced on canvas the lines he was drawing.

Kiessling, 33, said that as he learned to work with the robots - it took more than six months to perfect the technique and the software - he increasingly questioned the concepts of original and copy.

"What are the machines doing, actually?" he asked during a news conference. "It appeared to me in working with the machines that it was less about a kind of copy and more like a clone."

The three versions of Kiessling's "hybrid head" - one full face with two half heads on either side - will be joined together and exhibited as a triptych in Vienna and London.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan)

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