Sat in an NCP car park on Brewer Street, Soho is Ada – named after Ada Lovelace who was a 19th century mathematician who is often referred to as the world’s first computer programmer and who also collaborated with the renowned Charles Babbage.
Programmed to dance, it was just a few years ago (2010) that Ada existed in another guise. Prior to being re-built by Conrad Shawcross, Ada was a welding robot in a car factory painted in a stylist orange. Now stripped back and hacked, the beautiful aluminium Ada is aesthetically similar to Shawcross’s response to Titian's Diana created for the National Gallery in a unique collaboration with The Royal Ballet.
The Ada project is an ongoing series of musical commissions between Shawcross and contemporary composers. By placing musicians into a series of creative constraints Shawcross is pushing for a unique means of music production. Collaborating and working with four electronic music pieces composed by women, Ada (the machine) and its dance is the inspiration for the music. The electronic music pulsates with the electronic powered movements of the machine as a human directive is added by the musicians who created the pieces.
Relations, composed by Holly Herndon along with the other musical commissions is available on a limited edition of 100 copies on laser etched 12” black vinyl at a snazzy £200 price tag to boot – but then it is a limited edition (what did you expect).
Click here to listen to Holly Herndon's piece Relations and see below for a short clip about the work: