Artistic Robots: Visible and Invisible

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In 1920 the word ‘robot’ [forced labour] was coined in a play about mechanical workers rebelling against their human overlords. Just over a century later, we are immersed in debates about how robotics may disrupt labour in the coming decades, and whether ideal human partners (in life, play and sex) might be in fact be robots by 2050.

Tracing the visible (physical) and the invisible (cognitive) robotic activity of the last two decades through the work of artists like Stelarc, Louis-Philippe Demers, Len Goldberg, Maja Smrekar, and Mario Klingemann, I suggest that we need to decouple robotics from notions of (human or non-human) labour, and, instead, recognise the field’s ability to reconfigure space-time, speed, sensation, and perception. Using several case studies of artistic robotics with a focus on kinetics, object-sensing, non-human spatial orientation, environmental sensing, prosthetic and exoskeletal structures, and non-human play, I discuss the role of visible and invisible robotics in redefining both proxemic and remote perception.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2023
EventRobotmeet 2023 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 17 Aug 202319 Aug 2023


ConferenceRobotmeet 2023
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