‘Return to Tomorrow’ at Kingsborough Community College

Artist teaches our future robot overlords how to sculpt

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In the future, the message will be inside the medium.

The new exhibit opening at the Art Gallery at Kingsborough Community College on March 11 will feature sculptures that were made with three-dimensional printers and are imprinted with the computer code used to create them.

The exhibit, titled “Return to Tomorrow: 3-D Printed Sculpture for the Posthuman Age,” is an attempt to explain art to the machines that will be running the world in the near future, according to the artist. She said she hopes the computers will continue to create new works on their own after humanity finally bows down to its robot overlords.

“Art is probably the most human part about us. It is totally illogical, totally unreasonab­le,” said artist Ashley Zelinskie, who lives in Williamsburg. “How would we be able to explain to importance of that to machines?”

The artist, who is a sci-fi fan and is dedicating the show to the recently deceased “Star Trek” actor Leonard Nimoy, said she doesn’t view a robotic takeover as the apocalyptic event it is often portrayed to be.

“Especially nowadays you’re seeing a lot of this — robots and technology will take over humanity,” said Zelinskie. “But I don’t necessarily see it as a bad thing. I don’t think it has to be a dystopian future. It could be a slow takeover where we work side-by-side with them.”

She said a robotic revolution would, however, change the art world. In order to ensure that art lives on, Zelinskie said artists must try to explain the importance of art in ways robots can comprehend, which she is attempting to do by incorporating code into her pieces.

“We should probably start integrating our art and culture into this movement,” she said.

Zelinskie said other artists don’t always support her vision for the future, but that is a common theme throughout history.

“Plato protested against the written word for awhile,” she said. “People are always resistant to change.”

“Return to Tomorrow: 3-D Printed Sculpture for the Posthuman Age” by Ashley Zelinskie at the Art Gallery at Kingsborough Community College [2001 Oriental Blvd between Quentin Street and Decatur Avenue in Manhattan Beach, (718) 368–5449,]. Opening reception March 11 at 3 pm. Exhibit runs until April 14.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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