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Interactive Robot Painting at Breast Strokes Columbus

On June 22nd 2019, an interactive robot painting was set up for 9 hours during a festival in Franklinton put together by Breast Strokes Columbus.  The installation featured a 4′ x 4′ canvas, a robotic vacuum cleaner, a series of bottles of paint, and the artists – Matt Swift – working with festival goers inviting them to pick a word about cancer, pick a color, and then watch as he applied the word on the canvas with paint and the vacuum cleaner turned the words into art.

Matt Swift painting on the canvas

The installation saw around 60 participants supply words that were then painted on the canvas over a 9 hour period. Participants included festival goes of all walks of life including the festival creator Caroline Hamilton, children and parents, and even people of the disability community who had been effected by cancer. Participants chose words such as Fire, Love, Hope, Chemo, Survive, Thief, Cruel, Pain, Live, etc. The overall message of the work showed a balance between those who were able to focus on the positive messaging for others and suffering people who were still in the throws of dealing with the effects of cancer in their lives.

Full List of Words in order:

fire, flugenheimer, love, hope, family, fuck, cancer, gone, equal, vinblastine, boobies, hope, cruel, carcinogen, fear, paloma negra, together, unless, grief, uphill, survival, overcome, mass, fight, resilience, warrior, testicular, cell, loss, pain, shock, destroy, destroy, survivable!, miss you, strength, colon, rampaging, thief, deaf, heart broken, scars, threat, support, survivor, survivor, survivor, fuck cancer, cool, live!, live!, live!, live!, R.I.P. Chemo, Chemo, Chemo. 

The word fire painted on the canvas

painting in progress showing paint bottles

The word Cruel painted on the canvas

wide shot of painting in action

close up shot of painting in action

The piece will be displayed as part of a larger solo show of Matt’s recent work that focuses on physical and mental recovery opening on July 10th at the Fresh A.I.R. Gallery  in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

” It is so powerful to give these festival attendees a chance to participate in a community painting based on the words we use to discuss, what for most is, a life changing diagnosis. I thank each and every one of them for having the courage to work with me to create this piece of art.” (Matt Swift)

Finished painting after 9 hours of participation.

Words of Breaststrokes at Fresh AIR Gallery


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