Chair Persons: William Hart & Nancy Mauro-Flaude
Presenters: William Hart, Brad Miller, Linda Dement, Danja Vasiliev, Audrey Samson & Julian Stadon
This panel examines bots & automata as subjects of culture, with the particular emphasis on how we experience and personalise our interactions with them. Sociable robot development raises many questions with regards to cultures of spirituality and expression. The choice of encoding tool and interface are intrinsic to any communication platform, which always gives rise to new situations that must be tackled. Creative reflection and critical intelligent play has allowed for the numerous synergies between man and machine and influences how we are naturally inclined to interact and use these new technologies, and how these interactions impact on society. Such diverse views toward technology are shaped by respective social histories, cultures and experiences. Robots have become cult objects of contemplation, giving us a sense of connectedness with the world around us. Conception of the other is formed by reflection of our projected perceptions and these personal experiences in turn create new cultural identity aesthetics or present challenges to representation as we know it. There is continuing discourse on how our robots should look and what role they should take in society. We wish to offer commentary on these debates and raise issues about our historical and social relationship with machines and hope to extend a unique way of seeing robots: as a cultural phenomenon, as companions, as objects of startling beauty and as an important contemporary art form. Ever curious how the field of robotics and computational media can yield new potential understandings for theories of embodiment. Over the years there have been many speculations around the paradox of computing, theatre machines and play. We have this strong desire to invest machines with intelligence. We collectively buy into this mythology, wanting to believe intelligence exists in these sophisticated calculators. Anthropomorphism continually haunts us, and our machines – have we always been and will we fundamentally remain idolaters?
- Dr. Bill Hart is a lecturer in Electronic Media at the University of Tasmania, Australia, he has been working with computing technology for 30 years, firstly as a physical scientist, and for the past fifteen years as an artist, in 2008 he completed a PhD examining expressive programming, language and realtime imaging.
- Nancy Mauro-Flaude [ISEA2011 provided no biographical information]