The Robotic Zoo project is unfinished presently. It remains to be worked out how this piece would be best represented as a gallery installation. The finished parts are a performance where I dress up as a scientist lecturing on my robot zoo project explaining its benefits to humanity and a video where I explain the first few behaviours of my robots using subtitles.
The final stage of the work was to use the blackboard drawing in the lecture to create a robotic collective that carried out the concepts in the flow chart (Image is below). All the robots were going to look different and have to deal with their differences in appearance. Ultimately, the work was based on the philosophies found in The Revolution of the Everyday Life by Raoul Vaneigm and the flow chart which was the conclusion of a large series of blackboard drawings that worked out how the concepts from Vaneigem's book could be best explained and tested using a robotic AI system. The last element of the piece was to create a book work of the collection of blackboard drawings that interpreted The Revolution of the Everyday Life.
This video is a prototype that influenced the Field Studies project. It was an experiment to see what I could do if I represented my robots as actors in an informational video. By observing the behaviour of a robot, a commentary of the footage is presented with a very biased "human" interpretation of what the robot is experiencing. The work plays on the human fascination in relating to the robot by seeing its behaviours in anthropomorphized terms.
The behavioural sketches recorded cover the nature of line reading, the need for light attraction and how the robot navigates in space.
The project is presently on the back burner but below are the sketches of ideas I had in how I would design robot species by playing with stereotypes. Thus some robots are designed to look like a mammal, others look reptilian and some are amphibious. The influences for the sketches came from real animal species. Whether the robots would actually look like this is not determined. The reason this project is on hold is I am still accumulating the programming skills to properly carry it through and I am not sure as yet how I want to creatively represent the idea.
Below is a selection of images from the blackboards created from my readings of Raoul Vaneigem's book The Revolution of the Everyday Life, a very interesting Situationist book about consumer culture.
The full blackboard series lives as photographs of the original blackboard drawings. The series is comprised of 14 boards and does not cover the entire book, only chapters relating to the Robot Zoo Project.
To magnify the blackboard drawings, click on the image title links in this paragraphe to see that corresponding blackboard drawing magnified. Click on: Separation Blackboard, Roles #1 Blackboard, Roles #2 Blackboard and Mediated #3 Blackboard.