Telecommunications | Art, Entertainment, and Information
T570 | 28358 | Bucksbarg, A


ROBOTS, CYBORGS, GLITCHES and the MULTISENSORIAL
Art, Information and Entertainment in the 21st Century
T570 Graduate Seminar - 11:15A-12:30PM Tuesdays/Thursdays
SPRING 2011

“Oh, hi!  That’s our robot!”

“Sixty-four babies participated in the study, and they were tested
individually. They played with toys for a few minutes, getting used
to the experimental setting. Once the babies were comfortable,
Brooks removed a barrier that had hidden a metallic humanoid robot
with arms, legs, a torso and a cube-shaped head containing camera
lenses for eyes. The robot -- controlled by a researcher hidden from
the baby -- waved, and Brooks said, ‘Oh, hi! That's our robot!’” –
Science Daily

Seeking:
10 fearless scholars, artists, designers and creative nomads for
post-transdisciplinary, meta-academic, nonlinear/ non sequitur,
sessions of thought-action.

We are Accidental

Often a brief fault in a system, which produces something other than
what it is supposed to, is treated as a novel design attribute.  The
artist, tinkerer or inventor improvises to incorporate these
artifacts of error into their creative or design work.  These
unintentional or indeterminate aspects in creating, experimenting,
composing, designing or performing have a history in science,
design, invention and the arts and are fundamental to creative
process and the practice of invention.  It is interesting to note
that what we know often gets in the way of what we don’t know.
Accidents and errors help us see that the world is round not flat
and rotates around the sun.  Artists work in this slippery, liminal
space, from the chaotic, irrational “anti-art” of Dada, the non
sequitur of Surrealism, to the indeterminacy of Fluxus, artists have
harvested the product of chance, error, the indeterminate and the
unknown in the genesis, operation of and presentation of their
work.

Likewise in science, design and industry, there are many examples of
the accident, such as technological innovations like the microwave
oven or the light emitting diode.  Scientists are confronted with
findings that run counter to their expectations and theories must be
corrected based on such findings. Impacts of media and technology
also tend to be accidental, such as the effects of television
viewership or the usage of mobile devices (particularly while
driving...) Paul Virilio writes of the integral accident, “To invent
something is to invent an accident. To invent the ship is to invent
the shipwreck; the space shuttle, the explosion. And to invent the
electronic superhighway or the Internet is to invent a major risk,
which is not easily spotted because it does not produce fatalities
like a shipwreck or a mid-air explosion. The information accident
is, sadly, not very visible. It is immaterial like the waves that
carry information.”  For Virilio accidents are inherently invented
with technology and he warns of the difficulty in imagining the
complex impact of new media and technology.  The integral accident
is a warning to us of the hidden or integrated errors, accidents or
faults that speak to the complexity and intricacy of our
relationship to the new media and technology we create and use.
This seminar will explore the simultaneous fetish and disgust, the
exaltation and condemnation of technology in art, information and
entertainment through the reflecting surface of the robot, the
cyborg and the error in the system or the lenses of the robot eyes.

Questions:
What is the accident of the robot?
Cyborg:  how does the organic persist in a 1 (all) or 0 (nothing)
existence?
What is the theory of the glitch, mod, error, hack, bend, mistake or
the accidental?
How do we persist through the integration of the material and the
virtual or the physical and the digital?

Context:
We must consider praxis as a means of thinking through doing and
theory, conceptualization and criticality as a practice of
manufacturing thought through the creation of work. The flow of
intuitive play requires a bridge of effort in dedicated practice
powered by complimentary techniques of doing/thinking. As humans, we
approach the creation of experience of art both experientially and
thoughtfully.  Art is always cognitive.  A critical approach brings
awareness to the sweetness of the complexity of the process involved
in such work.  Conceptual and technical expertise gives work its
strength as one matures into a passionate practice and the pleasure
of play in a more profoundly connected flow of the learning process,
as well as an engaged art/design/academic practice.

Deconstructing Binary Mantras:
This seminar will benefit from an openness in the examination of
binaries, such as theory and practice, thinking and doing or form
and function, in order to learn from understanding such distinctions
in a holistic process comprised of a varying recipe of conceptual
effort, technical and creative ability, experimentation and
intuitive play, as well as how such work is framed by current
practice and historical context.

The BORG (Bring Outside Resource Group):
The seminar is an open source course, functioning as an improvised
representational hive democracy.  Participants will be encouraged as
BORG or as a Bring Outside Resource Group.  We will work to harvest
and incorporate participant’s current work in other courses and
relevant interests and abilities.

Deep Thought and Imaginings:
Participants will be asked to contribute one each of a relevant
text, a media, entertainment or art project, as well as an outside
visitor/speaker.  Participants will also complete two small projects
(in whatever form they choose) followed by two short, related
essays, as well as two essay-based exams over readings, projects and
discussions.

More information will follow at-
http://organicode.net/teaching.html

Please contact Prof. A with questions:
Professor N_DREW
(AKA Andrew Bucksbarg)
Telecommunications
n_drew@organicode.net
http://organicode.net