Curatorial Project: Exhibition of Robotic Art
The Mink Building, Harlem, New York
September 17-19, 2004
ArtBots: The Robot Talent Show is an annual art exhibition for robotic art and art-making robots. It is produced by the Columbia University Computer Music Center with support from the Digital Media Center. I was invited to co-curate ArtBots 2004 with new media artist Mary Flanagan and Douglas Irving Repetto, the director of ArtBots.
Featuring the work of 20 artists and groups from seven countries, the show celebrates the strange and wonderful collision of artists, engineers, hackers, rogue scientists, and backyard gear heads that has come to define the emerging field of robotic art. Participants include robots that sketch, carve, float, wiggle, hum, ring, grow, wander, and sing, as well a number of works the form and function of which are not yet well understood. In keeping with the "Robot Talent Show" theme, attendees will be invited to vote for their favorite ArtBot. Two awards will be presented at the end of the show: The Audience Choice Award and The Artists’ Choice Award. All ArtBots artists and curators will be present throughout the event.
Selected ArtBots Projects :
Thoughts Go by Air
Machine Cent'red Humanz [Chip Kali, Lahaag, Spess, and Johannes Taelman]
helium, latex and electronics, hmm
It should not be too difficult to build a a species of independently flying creatures that communicate among each other, using human energy and presence. Like Hitchcock's birds suggest: with their own systems of collective and collaborative intelligence driving on humans mobility as a source and interface.
This is the first test of a flock of balloons that can typically communicate with another flock in a distance, and exchange information regarding its own shape and movement. It can learn to adapt and act differently than local observations would suggest. Hence it will enact on human forms of gathering like: parties, openings/closings, bingo events, artbot shows, exhibitions and performances. Plans are drawn to have simultaneous flocks in Den Hague (Nederland), Trnva (Slovakia) and Brussels (Belgium).
"Of course due to the lack of wings on human bodies" (Chip Kali) "Machines that deal with people rather than people that deal with machines!" (Lahaag)
Daniel Canazon Howe, Jeff Han
aluminum, acrylic, fencewire, motors, props, scraps
Ornithoids is an interactive, kinetic, sound-sculpture composed of rotor-propelled, sonically-enabled robots flying through a large wire enclosure. Each self-contained robot is equipped with its own speaker for sound output and is capable of movement in all directions within a plane. While interactions continuously occur between the RotoBots themselves, each is also able to 'sense' the presence and movements of audience members and to vary its behavior accordingly, attempting to facilitate interaction. Each robot is programmed with a unique behavior set ranging from submissive to dominant, solitary to social, and fearful to hostile -- mirroring aspects of our own relationship to technology. As the simple behaviors of individual robots yield more complex and unexpected system behavior, the work interrogates the disparities between a system's intention and its realization in the world, inviting us to consider how such gaps impact our social responsibility as designers of such systems.
elf - electronic life forms
Pascal Glissmann, Martina Hoefflin
Prints, Weckglasses, small solar analog circuits
One part of the installation shows photographs documenting a natural environment populated with small analog solar robots, the so called uncommon life forms. The contrast of electronic and nature seems to disappear and fade away. The unknown species in our well known surrounding looks acceptable and even comfortable to the observer.
The other part of the installation consists of Weck-glasses as prisons of the uncommon life forms. This scenario reminds of Childhood adventures, exploring and discovering the world around us. The elfs still get their needed solar energy, but seem to desperatly use their only communication chanel, chaotic sounds and movements, to call the attention of the outside world.