(edited by) Dominik Landwehr – Machines And Robots


Edition Digital Culture 5, Migros Kulturprozent, Christoph Merian, ISBN-13: 978-3856168551, English, 288 pages, 2018, German

The “creativity” of machines is a hypothetical quality that emotionally escalates in our minds when they have an anthropomorphic shape, or when, in other words, we call them “robots”. In the contemporary post-digital uncertainty there are different feelings connected to robots, especially generated by the apparent rapid escalation of their efficiency in accomplishing human tasks. The fears connected to their growing presence in our society is reviving the archetypal science fiction nightmare of artificial entities taking over, in the so-called “robopocalypse“. This book is the fifth volume of the Edition Digital Culture series which is supported by the Migros Cultural Percentage. It starts with an overview of the robot-based artworks supported by Migros over the years (Kammermann), and continues with a technological state of the art report (Fischer); a review of different science fictional, imaginary, hybrid social environments and ideas (Theisohn); the use of machines in art described by the Museum Tinguely’s director (Wetzel); machinic aesthetics in 20th Century art (Broeckmann); perspectives on possible robots’ creativity (Pankow, Spoerri); and, how they can express the relationship between art and science (d’Andrea). There’s also a “photo essay” composed in a similar fashion to a tumblr visual blog, with a series of disparate but consistent images in a somehow logical sequence. It completes a valid and circumstantiated publication, which should induce new thoughts and ideas, rather than just wipe out fears.

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