Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Robotic Creatures : Anthropomorphism and Interaction in Contemporary Art
Ghedini, F.PERCRO Lab. Scuola Superiore Sant''Anna, Pisa, Italy.
In the article Ghendini and Bergamasco state that there is a lack of research of robots in art. He discussed how robots in art create a theatre like event as the robots have an interactive element to them. Even by simply having anthropomorphic qualities. As soon as a viewer enters the room, a relationship begins and so this defines a new type of theatre. Any type of theatre has an acknowledgement of an audience. A robot cannot be too small so as to risk it being interpreted as an object and if it is too big, it will risk being viewed as a monument.
They discussed the history of puppets in different cultures and robots in science fiction. Perhaps the most interesting and relevant to me is the relationship Japanese people have to robots. They view them more as friendly helpers as opposed to the west where we see them as aliens and threatening. This can be explained with the native religion Shintoism. As discussed in Tylor’s book Primitive Culture, more primitive cultures’ religion project anthropomorphic and spiritual powers onto inanimate objects. Tools such as swords or axes came to have spiritual powers and in turn hold anthropomorphic qualities. The history of such practices in Japan had a big influence on their culture, even to this day. The Japanese obsession with cute characters and the ability to anthropomorphise most inanimate objects. Given reason as to why the Japanese are more welcoming to robots.
The new Japanese humanoid robot HRP-4C