Have you ever heard of Lovebot? If you haven’t, it’s about time you get acquainted with this lovable, faceless robot. The Lovebot is a sculpture that’s easy to spot and recognize as it’s a geometric robot — without a face — sporting a red heart logo on its torso. Do you know many of those? I didn’t think so.
Lovebot was created by Toronto-based artist Matthew Del Degan and was designed to be a representation for the “Love Invasion” movement — a campaign Del Degan launched with a goal of spreading love, kindness, and compassion in Toronto and beyond. Soon this Love Invasion will spread all the way to King Street, as Del Degan is collaborating with Lifetime Developments on a new condo project that will keep the love flowing.
Del Degan’s initial grassroots initiative featured the distribution of 100 backyard-made, hand-cast, two-foot tall concrete Lovebot sculptures across Toronto and surrounding areas, but boy is this movement growing.
Lovebot will no longer just be sitting in the backyards of those in the GTA — our friendly faceless robot is moving up — literally — taking on the high-rise life. Del Degan is bringing Lovebot, in the form of indoor and outdoor sculptures, as well as murals which will be integrated within the communal living environments, to XO2 Condos, a King Street West condo building set to welcome residents in 2022.
The goal of this collaboration is to inspire the new residents of XO2 Condos and further complement the creative spirit of the community.
Lifetime Developments, a Toronto-based condo developer, has worked on many impressive projects and collaborations involving the arts such as Lenny Kravitz x Bisha Hotel, Mr. Brainwash x Lifeline Foundation, George Pimentel x Oscar Residences, and now the XO2 Condos — their newest endeavour and part of their mission to enhance communities by supporting the arts. What better way to support the arts than by bringing this love-exuding sculpture to Liberty Village?
The idea of Lovebot representing the “Love Invasion” movement is that it serves as a loving disruption to our “robotic” routines, all while reiterating the fact that it is a privilege to be human, to feel emotions, and to not be restricted to algorithms and programming. Many of us get caught up in the day to day, working in our concrete jungles, but we all have the ability to express compassion, love, and kindness. Lovebot serves as a reminder that there is goodness all around us that we can (and should) seek out and harness.
The origins of Del Degan’s creation are hyper-local, even with such a globally relatable message. The vision behind Lovebot, in essence, pays homage to his arrival in Toronto. After noting the uninspired expressions of city subway passengers, he felt that people in his city could benefit from expressing more compassion. His project really took hold in 2013, after a slew of media coverage profiled his early Lovebot sculptures. Though the sculptures are all very similar to one another, each one was tied to an individual tale or act of kindness.
Especially in these trying times, it’s clear we could all benefit from a little bit more love and Lovebot is here to deliver.