CNR 2013: Lectures: France Cadet (FRA)
Abstract: Teaching robotic dogs new
France Cadet performs surgery on I-Cybie robots, a commercial robotic dog. She hacks them, customized their forms, and reprogrammed them with unusual behaviours.
These robotic dogs allow her to embody questions concerning animals' rights and the complex relationship between humans and animals.
These questions have evolved over time. At the beginning she was more focused on the boundaries between human and animal, simply using the robots as a medium, then she began interested in using them for their intrinsic robotic qualities, hence questioning the relationships between humans (or animal) and machines.
In "Dog[LAB]01", the 7 transgenic robotic dogs where used to make a critical social statement about the excess and dangers of cloning, eugenics and other experiments using animals. It also dealt with controversies concerning artists using bio-art as an art form.
The fact that these animals are robots but that they are suffering from diseases, or are even dying (like in "Dog[LAB]02", where a pack of cloned robots like Dolly - the one suffering from BSE - are dying in unison), challenges the utopian dreams of transhumanists in which robotic technology was seen as a means of overcoming our mortality.
The installation "Hunting trophies" evidently raises questions about animals rights, but it also introduces new interrogations about domestic robots and robots in general, their status, their function and their integration into society.
While the animals from "Do robotic cats dream of electric fish?" and "Gaude Mihi" are a much more accurate testimony of the breaking down of boundaries between animal, human and machine. Blending into society, robots are now becoming more and more life-like. They seem to be developing the ability and desire to experiment with social activities and pleasures. Thus her robotic cat might have the desire to entertain itself by watching pet program on TV, or the rocking robot "Gaude Mihi" which rocks when its owner approaches, might simply be seeking to generate its own amusement.
France Cadet will explain how she hacks these dogs and modifies their shape, their hardware and their software. These internal modifications are necessary because, unlike Sony's AIBO, I-Cybie was not designed to be reprogrammed and has no wifi.
She will talk, but not only, about her works using this robotic dog.
[image source: France Cadet]
[source: Vive Les Robots!]
France Cadet is a French digital and robotics artist whose work ironically raises questions about various aspects in science debates and contemporary anxieties about biotechnology.
In Prague France Cadet will hold the opening lecture "Teaching robotic dogs new tricks" November 27 during the Cafe Neu Romance festival (27-30 November 2013) at Galerie NTK.
National Technical Library