Golem & The Mechanical Man of the Future

This year's main theme is "Golem & The Mechanical Man of the Future" because the festival will mark that it is 100 years ago that Gustav Meyrink wrote "Der Golem" in Prague.

At the same time when anti-semitism and pogroms raised in the beginning of the last century, the Golem myth was brought into life again many places especially in the Central & Eastern part of Europe. The strongest narrative is connected with Prague. It was in the Czech capital that Rabbi Loew around 1580 should have created the giant robot Golem to protect the Jewish people against assaults from the local population.

In 1909 the Jewish scholar Yudl Rosenberg published the book "The Golem and the Wonderous Deeds of the Maharal of Prague" in Poland which describes some of these stories where the technology is helpful, but also quite dangerous if it is not handled in a correct way by mankind. Some years later, in 1914, the same year World War I began as a consequence of that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, the Austrian writer Gustav Meyrink finished his novel "The Golem". In this novel that was written in Prague the Golem is more an image of the psyche of the Jewish people.

During the following years until 1920 the German Actor and Film Director Paul Wegener directed three Golem movies, among them the expressionist classic movie "The Golem: How He Came into the World", which was released in 1920, the same year that the Czech Author Karel Capek wrote R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) with a similar plot as Golem in the new born state of Czechoslovakia. It was in this drama the word "Robot" was used for the World audience for the first time to describe artificial biomechanical androids.

Nowadays nations develops defense robots to protect its citizens in a World with many new and ongoing conflicts, and the myth on Golem is not only connected with Judaism, but also an important part of Czech folklore. You can discover Golem sculptures as a symbol of a company, in playgrounds, or as souvenirs. You can go to a Golem restaurant, sleep in a Golem hotel, or discover the places in which Golem should have been presence in Prague.

Theater Director Ivo Kristián Kubák will present his play GOLEM Stvanice, which is based on Gustav Meyrink's novel "Der Golem".

Golem and the Mechanical Man of the Future
The Cafe Neu Romance 2014 main theme "Golem and the Mechanical Man of the Future" will introduce to some robots and narratives that are connected with Golem from sci-fi and real life, and we ask the audience, why is it, that we at the same time, on one hand both can fear and be sceptical on robots, and on the other hand are getting curious and fascinated by them.

In the exhibition the visitors can discover more than 150 contemporary works created by around 40 persons from 15 different countries. Or they can go to 12 lectures / presentations with ex. two of Czech animation's Grand Old Men Jiri Barta & Edgar Dutka, the Slovakian AI-professor Jozef Kelemen, the head of Centre for Critical & Cultural Theory of Charles University Louis Armand, or the "bionic-arm man" Nigel Ackland (GBR) and his fellow countryman Dr. Rupert Young, and discover the sound poetry performance "Trans(who?)man by Olga Pek (CZE) and Zuzana Husárova (SVK), plus watch 10 short robot movies or commercials on the topic.


Golem & the Mechanical Man of the Future: Andras Nagy (HUN), Andy Fairhurst (GBR), BTTP Films (GBR), Daniel Nash (GBR), Engineered Arts, Ltd. (GBR), Fernando Orellana (SLV), Fred Barton (USA), Gary Hirsch (USA), Gruponove (BRA), The Golem Mythologie (GER), Golem Stvanice (CZE), Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratory, ATR (JPN), Jak Gibberish (GBR), Jirí Barta (CZE), Joe Vetoe (USA), Mariusz Dobies (POL), Matt Ferguson (GBR), Old Prague Legends (CZE), Oliver Uberti (USA), Orlando Arocena (USA), Pauline Baillon (FRA), Robotic Ewe (GBR), Scott Park (CAN), Sigrid Rødli (NOR), Simon Raffy (FRA), Steph Doyle (USA), Terri Ogle (GBR), Theo Costantini (FRA), Vladimir Zimakov (USA), Yes I Do (UKR)

Galerie NTK:
Wednesday 26 November: 6pm-9:30pm
Thursday 27 November: 9am-8pm
Friday 28 November: 9am-8pm
Saturday 29 November: 9am-5pm

The British humanoid robot RoboThespian produced by Engineering Arts, Ltd. reflects in Czech on the Prague Golem.

Golem & the Mechanical Man of the Future Day (Intro)
Short Movie: 9:30am-9:35am: Red Echo Post (USA): Gumball Wars
Short Movie: 9:35am-9:45am: Red Echo Post (USA): Desire
Short Movie: 9:45am-9:50am: Gruponove (BRA): Brilux cleaning supplies adds
Break: 9:50am-10am
Short Movie: 10am-10:05am: Old Prague Legends (CZE): Golem
Short Movie: 10:05am-10:15am: Anton Chistiakov & Mikhail Dmitriev (RUS): Bibo
Short Movie: 10:15am-10:25am: James Cunningham (NZL): Shelved
Short Movie: 10:25am-10:35am: Alex Rivera (USA): A Robot Walks Into a Bar
Break: 10:35am-10:45am
Short Movie: 10:45am-11:15am: Eli Sasich (USA): HENRi
Short Movie: 11:15am-11:20am: BTTP Films (GBR): FIRA Robotics

Golem & the Mechanical Man of the Future Day (Vol. I)
Presentation: 12:10am-12:40am: Ivo Kristián Kubák (CZE): GOLEM Stvanice
Trailer: 12:40am-12:50am: GOLEM Stvanice (CZE)
Break: 12:50am-1pm
Presentation: 1pm-1:25pm: Terri Ogle (GBR): The Golem Illustrations
Short Movie: 1:25pm-1:30pm: Old Prague Legends (CZE): Golem
Presentation: 1:30pm-1:55pm: Sascha Schulze (GER): The Golem Mythology
Panel: 2pm-2:30pm: Ivo Kristián Kubák (CZE), Terri Ogle (GBR), Sascha Schulze (GER)

Golem & the Mechanical Man of the Future Day (Vol. II)
Sound Poetry Performance: 1:30pm-2:15pm: Zuzana Husárová (SVK) & Olga Pek (CZE): Trans(who?)man
Presentation: 2:15pm-2:45pm: Rupert Young (GBR): Perceptual Robots
Break: 2:45pm-3pm
Presentation: 3pm-3:30pm: Nigel Ackland (GBR): BeBionic3 hand
Panel: 3:30pm-4pm: Zuzana Husárová (SVK) & Olga Pek (CZE), Rupert Young (GBR), Nigel Ackland (GBR)

Meet two of Czech animations Grand Old Men when Director Jiri Barta and Script-writer Edgar Dutka will give a talk about their Golem-project, plus give a short introduction to the classic Golem-movies "The Golem (1920)", "The King's Baker and the Baker's King (1952") and "Slecna-Golém (1972)".

Golem & the Mechanical Man of the Future Day (Vol. III)
Short Movie: 3pm-3:05pm: Engineered Arts, Ltd (GBR): RoboThespian reflects on Golem
Lecture: 3:05pm-3:30pm: Jozef Kelemen (SVK): A New Technology for an Old Dream -  Robots, Golems, and Vice Versa
Short Movie: 3:30pm-3:45pm: Jiri Barta (CZE): Golem
Presentation: 3:45pm-4:30pm: Jiri Barta (CZE) & Edgar Dutka (CZE): Golem
Break: 4:30pm-4:45pm
Presentation: 4:45pm-5:15pm: Vít Bohal (CZE): Law and Utility: The Ethics of the Golem
Panel: 5:15pm-5:45pm: Jozef Kelemen (SVK), Jiri Barta (CZE) & Edgar Dutka (CZE), Vít Bohal (CZE)

Golem & the Mechanical Man of the Future Day (Vol. IV)
Short Movie: 7pm-7:15am: Drew Mylrea (USA): Lisa
Lecture: 7:15pm-7:45pm: Louis Armand (AUS): Mind Fucks: Artificial Intelligence & Robot Evolution
Break: 7:45pm-8pm
Short Movie: 8pm-8:15pm: Helicon Arts Cooperative (USA): R.U.R.: Genesis
Presentation: 8:15pm-8:45pm: Bernie Stern (USA): Alternate Barbarella and Artificial Humans
Performance: 8:45pm-9pm: ::vtol:: (RUS): Reading my body work
Presentation: 9pm-9:30pm: Olga Pek (CZE) & Zuzana Husárova (SVK): Trans(who?)man
Panel: 9:30pm-10pm: Louis Armand (AUS), Bernie Stern (USA), ::vtol:: (RUS), Olga Pek (CZE) & Zuzana Husárova (SVK)

Balling Hall, NTK: Golem & the Mechanical Man of the Future Day (Intro, Vol. I, II, IV):
Friday 28 November: 9am-10pm

IIM (Intitute of Intermedia): Golem & the Mechanical Man of the Future Day (Vol. II):
Friday 28 November: 1:15pm-4pm

NB!: Please note that this is a preliminary program and subject to change.

[image source: Old Prague Legends]
[source: Vive Les Robots!]

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The Danish "robot" marking and event firm Vive Les Robots! is the main organizer of Cafe Neu Romance.


The Gallery of the National Technical Library in Prague, Galerie NTK, is co-organizer of Cafe Neu Romance.