Robotic art as a vector for techno-critique
Through the short history of robotic art, artists have produced non-utilitarian machines that offer cultural comments on our relation with increasingly intelligent artefacts. Robotic art, free from constraints faced by technologists and scientists, allows for a different perspective on this changing relation as well as a critical reflection on technological adoption.
The present analysis traces the development of my practice-based research in robotic art. I show how the practice aims at disseminating a critique of technics, specifically raising questions about gains and losses to human and non-human realms. The work is structured in three main strands:
Research on intelligent machines: an examination of the ontological shift that occurs when machines start to demonstrate lifelike behaviours such as adaptation and curiosity. The research leads to production of artworks and performances that use the tools of robotics for inviting critical responses to our relation with intelligent machines, uncharacteristic to the field.
Design of human-robot interaction situations: opening the scope of human-robot interaction to areas of investigation not commonly explored by scientific or commercial applications, I create situations where machines unbiased by a utilitarian or benign agenda operate in direct contact with humans. The work questions the limitations of current machines and the necessity of their deployment.
Participation: I create events that invite participation from audiences. Compared to more conventional outreach formats in art or science, the format allows for a broader range of human-machine interactions as well as a practical dissemination of critical reflections about technics. The unconventional aspects include hands-on processing of technological artefacts, shared experience with collective fabrication and direct dialogue.
The new perspective developed in my artworks and papers is founded on a broader ethos of the robotic as an art practice that can be a vector for techno-critique with a social impact agenda.
- School of Art and Design