ADA by Karina Smigla-Bobinski


6 to 23 October, 11am – 3pm daily, Long Gallery

Inspired by Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, ADA is an artwork with a soul, an automatic drawing machine that visitors are invited to push, pull and prod.  Contained within a temporary room in the Long Gallery, when put into action this large, charcoal studded, helium-filled membrane slowly makes a series of marks, flecks, lines and points that act as a record or memory of its own movements.

ADA is presented alongside Leonardo da Vinci: 10 Drawings from the Royal Collection coinciding with the shows final weekend, the work typifies Leonardo’s inventive approach to the world and to drawing. It also forms part of the Castle’s Big Draw 2016 programme, this year’s theme brings together Science, Technology, Art, Engineering and Maths. STEAM recalls our Industrial past and the fusion of creative innovation, enterprise and the arts, a theme that couldn’t be more fitting for both ADA and Leonardo.

ADA also celebrates Ada Lovelace Day on 11 October 2016. Lovelace was the sole child of erratic poet Lord Byron, and mathematics-loving Annabella Milbanke. Ada became a mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, The Analytical Engine. Although Babbage and his assistants had sketched out programs for his engine before, Lovelace’s are the most elaborate and complete, and the first to be published (in 1843); hence she is often referred to as “the first computer programmer”.

Artist Karina Smigla-Bobinski is currently based in Munich and Berlin and works with analogue and digital media to produce and collaborate on projects ranging from kinetic sculptures, interactive installations, art interventions, featuring mixed reality and interactive art objects.

See below a selection of photographs which show visitors interacting with ADA, which has been displayed in a number national and international institutions. For more images click here.

ADA is suitable for all ages, queues expected at busy times

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All images © the Artist