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CO.LABORATIONS | Partnerships in Media and Culture


13 October 2017
16:30 - 18:00
Het Huis (Boorstraat 107, Utrecht)

Performing Robots


“All the world’s a stage”, Shakespeare famously claimed, “and all the men and women merely players”. Today, we witness new species of players entering the world-stage as social robots are becoming increasingly part of the performance of everyday life and work. Social robots are robots that perform in situations with humans and often in interaction with them. They present challenges to their developers that are not only technical but also about what might be called the dramaturgy and design of the robot as social agent: how do social robots address their human co-performers and afford interaction with them, what scripts do they follow, how to design and choreograph their appearance and movements? Several international robot developers and researchers point to the performing arts as inspiration, model, and test-case for the development of robots and human-robot interaction. The research group Transmission in Motion (Utrecht University) investigates what the performing arts might have to offer to the development of social robots and has invited four international guests to present their projects and ideas. These are: Ruairi Glynn (Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London), Elizabeth Jochum (Aalborg University), Petra Gemeinboeck (University of New South Wales) and Rob Saunders (Falmouth University/University of Sydney).

Join us on October 13 (16.30-18.00h) in Het Huis, Boorstraat 107, Utrecht.

Entrance is free. Please send an email to Dennis Vermeulen: D.H.A.Vermeulen@uu.nl

For more information, contact Maaike Bleeker: M.A.Bleeker@uu.nl


Ruairi Glynn, installation artist and director of the Interactive Architecture Lab at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. He has exhibited internationally with recent shows at the Centre Pompidou Paris, the National Art Museum of China Beijing, and the Tate Modern, London. His interactive installations reflect on rapid developments in robotics, material science and computational technologies exploring the emerging aesthetics of behavior permeating across art, architecture and design.

Elizabeth Jochum, Assistant Professor of Art and Technology at Aalborg University. Her research focuses on the intersection of robotics, art and performance. She is the co-founder of the Robot Culture and Aesthetics (ROCA) and a member of Aalborg U Robotics. She has worked as an actor, director, dramaturge and puppeteer. Dr Jochum has directed experimental Kabuki dance dramas and designed choreography for robotic marionettes. Her forthcoming book Robots on Stage proposes an aesthetics for autonomous and semi-autonomous machines.

Dr. Petra Gemeinboeck, Senior Lecturer in Interactive Media Arts at UNSW | Art & Design, Sydney. Her creative robotics practice explores our entanglements with machines and makes tangible the vulnerabilities and politics involved. She currently leads an ARC Discovery Project, which investigates the potential of movement, and dance in particular, for reimagining how machines look, learn and affect us. Petra publishes widely on nonhuman agency, machine creativity, and issues of embodiment. Her artworks have been exhibited internationally, including at Ars Electronica, International Triennial of New Media Art at NAMOC, Beijing, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT), Liverpool, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, ICC Tokyo, and MCA Chicago.

Dr. Rob Saunders, Associate Professor in Computational Creativity at The Games Academy in Falmouth University and Senior Research Fellow at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney. Rob’s research centres around creative application of computing and the computational modelling of creativity. Using techniques from machine learning, robotics and surveillance he has explored the role of curiosity in creative processes and developed models of creative systems at individual, social and cultural levels. Rob works with artists and designers across a range of disciplines to support and engage in the creative application of computing and has applied his research in the development of design customisation systems, smart environments, interactive installations and robotic artworks.