After reading the comments I thought it appropriate to provide a closer view of the elements I chose for my artifact:
This is great Kevin,
I wonder why so many of our fictional robots want to be alive? Is it just a projection of our own desire to procreate or something deeper? The Oz reference is genius!
By the way, on this subject, and following your tweet to me, check this out:
Your virtual world is very colourful, even has a ‘yellow brick road’. Unlike Daniel, I don’t get the reference. I wonder, is the size of man and robot significant? Re your twitter comment about everyone reading something different into the visuals, that’s what I find fascinating about this task. Though I may not find it so good about my own visual as I’ve had to change idea and apps a few times. What software did you use?
I love the idea of linking your artefact to a familiar story and those robots seem kind of familiar too! This did make me smile (I really like the way the visual artefacts enagage our emotions!). The robots journey along the yellow brick road for me says something about the naivety of our belief in progress and the part technology plays in that. At the same time it seems unfamiliar and starts to raises all sorts of ethical questions about sentient machines and how we live and act in a world pervaded by humans and machines and maybe are unsure about which is which. Scary!
Brilliant! Marvin, Data and Johnny 5 (and AI – although I am not as familiar with him) are all robots with characteristics, that as humans we can relate to. Perhaps what makes them so appealing to the consumer market is their naive outlook and expression that to be human and understand/feel emotions would solve all their unease. Arguably, as human we too search for everything these ‘humanlike’ robots are searching for but would perhaps like to have their technological ability also!
Hi, I’ve always wondered why in science fiction movies the robots and their ilk need to be human. Captain Kirk never tired of pointing out that the element or characteristic that saved humanity was its feelings and emotions while it was also patently obvious that this is what got humanity into so much trouble in the first place. I think your image has highlighted the uncanny – the ghosts of Munchkins, flying monkeys and Dorothy hover in the background perhaps reminding us that real is only relative.
And what does it mean to be ‘a real boy’?
There is something plaintive about the request of IA as if being/becoming a human is something superior, something that would help him realise his affective potential, reach a higher level of emotional development? Maybe robots have (have been programmed to?) highly idealistic notions of what being a human embraces?
Maybe robots crave for being human as they would then embody true humanness and show us what it means to be human?
On a more personal note I could say ‘Do you think he could make me into a real robot?’, well just for a moment and on those occasions when I simply want to feel less … The question then arises what it means to be a ‘real robot’ …
I wonder why all those robots want to follow the yellow brick road – or maybe they are just told to do so… as well as Dorothy. Maybe we just want to project onto robots that they should be like humans and give them the same objectives Even with a “brain the size of a planet”.
Very nice image and composition Kevin.
I like Geraldine’s point about ‘the naivety of our belief in progress and the part technology plays in that’, and gets me thinking about how the discourse around digital technology often seems to adhere to modernist notions of advancement and human betterment. This idea seems to be embodied in the likes of Data and A.I. and Jonny 5, who seem to be machines that want to get ‘better’ by becoming more human. I like Ania and Neil’s perspectives here, that humanity might not be that fantastic a state to aspire to. Robots, and the like, seem to just be about our own self-obsession?
I wonder how much these kind of ideas can be traced in social networks and ‘web 2.0’ services, which seem to tend towards the self-reflective. I am reminded of earlier discussions of ‘Digital Narcissism’ here and thinking about how ‘like’ buttons seem to drive whole systems in service of our interests. It is like we are creating systems whose entire fabric is constituted by our own self-obsession…kind of…maybe…