Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things and ubiquitous automation give rise to the fear among many people of being replaceable by machines. But haven’t we long dreamed of machine helpers acting autonomously, understanding us and doing tedious work for us? Do robots take our work, or do they take it away? Or are they rather a tool to improve our skills and expand the horizon of our possibilities? In 2017, the “Creative Robotics” exhibition at the Ars Electronica Center showcased industrial robots away from their natural habitat, the factory floor, and explored them as a tool for creative expression. In cooperation with KUKA, the Laboratory for Creative Robotics of the Linz University of Art, the Institute for Robotics of the Johannes Kepler University, the research project “Robotic Woodcraft” of the University of Applied Arts Vienna / Robots in Architecture, the Faculty of Architecture of the RWTH Aachen University and the Institute for Computer-Based Design of the University of Stuttgart, new fields of application and use for industrial robot technologies were considered. Robotic arms were not used here for mass production as is usually the case, but as a catalyst for innovation in fine art, design and architecture.
More pictures of over 40 years of Ars Electronica can be found in our archive.
In our Throwback series, we take a look back at past events, exhibitions, installations and other exciting happenings from the Ars Electronica universe since 1979.