Books  |    |  May 5, 2016

Robots and Art: Exploring an Unlikely Symbiosis

Book edited by by Damith Herath,‎ Christian Kroos and‎ Stelarc.
Published by Springer.
456 pages.

The first compendium on robotic art of its kind, this book explores the integration of robots into human society and our attitudes, fears and hopes in a world shared with autonomous machines. It raises questions about the benefits, risks and ethics of the transformative changes to society that are the consequence of robots taking on new roles alongside humans. It takes the reader on a journey into the world of the strange, the beautiful, the uncanny and the daring – and into the minds and works of some of the world’s most prolific creators of robotic art.

Offering an in-depth look at robotic art from the viewpoints of artists, engineers and scientists, it presents outstanding works of contemporary robotic art and brings together for the first time some of the most influential artists in this area in the last three decades. Starting from a historical review, this transdisciplinary work explores the nexus between robotic research and the arts and examines the diversity of robotic art, the encounter with robotic otherness, machine embodiment and human–robot interaction. Stories of difficulties, pitfalls and successes are recalled, characterising the multifaceted collaborations across the diverse disciplines required to create robotic art.

Although the book is primarily targeted towards researchers, artists and students in robotics, computer science and the arts, its accessible style appeals to anyone intrigued by robots and the arts.

  • Offers an in-depth look at robotic art from the viewpoints of artists, engineers, and scientists
  • Addresses questions about the benefits, risks, ethical issues, and changes to society that are the consequence of robots interacting with human beings
  • Written by experts in the field

Table of Contents

Part I Prologue

  • Engineering the Arts — Damith Herath and Christian Kroos
  • The Art in the Machine — Christian Kroos

Part II Then and Now

  • We Have Always Been Robots: The History of Robots and Art — Elizabeth Stephens and Tara Heffernan
  • Robotics and Art, Computationalism and Embodiment  — Simon Penny
    Robotics: Hephaestus Does It Again  — Jean-Paul Laumond

Part III Otherness

  • Embracing Interdependencies: Machines, Humans and Non-humans — Amy M. Youngs
  • Trans-Species Interfaces: A Manifesto for Symbiogenisis  — Ken Rinaldo
  • Cultivating the Uncanny: The Telegarden and Other Oddities — Elizabeth Jochum and Ken Goldberg
  • The Potential of Otherness in Robotic Art  — Eleanor Sandry
  • Being One, Being Many — Christian Kroos and Damith Herath

Part IV Explorations

  • Way of the Jitterbug — Norman T. White
  • Still and Useless: The Ultimate Automaton — Nicolas Reeves and David St-Onge
  • Machines That Make Art — Leonel Moura

Part V Embodiment

  • The Multiple Bodies of a Machine Performer 0– Louis-Philippe Demers
  • Bio-engineered Brains and Robotic Bodies: From Embodiment to Self-portraiture — Guy Ben-Ary and Gemma Ben-Ary
  • Android Robots as In-between Beings  — Kohei Ogawa and Hiroshi Ishiguro
  • Into the Soft Machine — Chico MacMurtrie

Part VI Interactions

  • I Want to Believe—Empathy and Catharsis in Robotic Art  — Bill Vorn
  • Designing Robots Creatively — Mari Velonaki and David Rye
  • Robot Partner—Are Friends Electric?  — Stefan Doepner and Urška Jurman

Part VII Epilogue

  • Encounters, Anecdotes and Insights—Prosthetics, Robotics and Art . . . 427

About the Editors

  • Damith Herath is a Research Engineer at the MARCS Institute on the Thinking Head Project where he has led several robotic projects that explore various nuances of Human-Robot Interaction including reciprocal influences between the arts and robotics.
  • Christian Kroos has done work on speech articulator movements and face motion during spoken language which led to interdisciplinary research covering computer vision, cognitive sciences and robotics conducted internationally at the Institute of Phonetics and Speech Processing. At MARCS Institute he explored non-verbal human-machine interaction in the Thinking Head project.
  • Stelarc explores alternate anatomical architectures. He is an artist whose projects incorporate prosthetics, robotics, biotechnology, medical imaging and the internet.

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