Art and Performance

Wednesday August 21, 12:50 - 13:30 CEST, Auditorium 2 (1441-112)

Kristina Eiviler, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Kristina Eiviler is a Doctoral Candidate in the URPP Language and Space Lab. 

Transmission: Revisited

In my art project “Transmission: Revisited”, I created a video collage of interactions between humans and posthuman priests (robot priests BlessU-2 and SanTO) that are juxtapositioned to the videos of interactions between humans and sacred, magical, and historical objects (statues of saints, monuments, plaques) presented in the video sequences taken from Harun Farocki’s video installation “Transmission”. Inspired by Farocki’s exploration of the meaning of body, touch, and materialization of the sacred, my experimental video tends to extend the research on the area of human-robot interaction as experienced through present, physical, and embodied contact. As such, my work invited the viewer to explore the emerging transformation of human nature, culture and being in contact with posthuman robot priests.

Wednesday August 21, 12:50-13:30 CEST Auditorium 3 (1441-113)

Janine Bower, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA

Janine Bower, M.S. is a second-year PhD student fascinated by vocal performance in the video game medium. Having former research interests in surveillance studies from her time with Drexel University’s STS program, she is thrilled to be a part of the RP2024 Conference presenting a piece that utilizes her acting skills to further her research goals.

John Slowik, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA

John Slowik, M.S. is a fourth-year PhD student working to integrate formal reasoning systems, sub-symbolic AI, and robotics. He would like to acknowledge Dr Selmer Bringsjord and the RAIR Lab for making the robot PERI.2 available for this performance. It was a great opportunity to spread awareness of the dangers of AI, and the importance of AI ethics and alignment problems moving forward.

PanOp Industries

Modern AI is rapidly integrating with data collection tools to form monitoring technologies that present a crisis for human privacy. We have developed and herein explore these concerns through a performance piece titled PanOp Industries : An employee has been onboarded to a work-from-home position, but becomes increasingly oppressed by the invasive monitoring systems, and impossibly high volume of work they feel is required of them within the position. The worker enlists the use of a robotic arm to assist with their increasingly stressful tasks, which attempts to empathize with their plight; all the while, parts of their email software implore - and increasingly force the employee to resist these oppressive surveillance mechanisms. -- We argue that the reckless use of AI-driven monitoring systems - as dramatized in this performance piece - is hazardous for human psychological welfare, and becoming an ongoing ethical crisis that will worsen without serious oversight from government and industry.

Thursday August 22, 12:50 - 13:30 CEST Auditorium 2 (1441-112)

Oliver Schürer, Technical University of Vienna, Austria

Oliver Schürer is a researcher, author, Senior Scientist, and deputy director at the Institute for Architecture Theory and Philosophy of Technology at the Vienna University of Technology. He is researching lifeworld aspects of space, techniques, and technologies. He conducted numerous research projects in Architecture, Arts, Engineering sciences, and the Humanities. In  2014, he founded H.A.U.S. (Humanoids in Architecture and Urban Spaces), a transdisciplinary group of researchers from AI-research, architecture, automation technology, dance, human-robot interaction, media arts, music, and philosophy. The group works by means of performance art, public experiments, arts-based and scientific research concerning life-worlds, spatiality of movements, humanoid robotics, and social AI.

YouAI -- A Dance and Word Performance

Among today’s many different ways of controlling social robots, AI is discussed as the most appealing option. Often robots and AI’s are addressed by „the AI“. Many different popular definitions of social robotics and AI feature one common failure: not only do they fail to highlight the aspect of control of these devices, they actually further distract from their control by claiming their autonomy. This allows for generating the common sense idea that there would be some basic symmetric relations between humans and AI’s in terms of the potentials of the entities. On the basis of that claimed sameness, the public illusion is constructed that humans are inferior to AI’s.  Behind the performance is the arts-based research project DANCR (2022-24), which researched and developed two alternative artistic AI’s to critique industrial AI production. By discussing AI-training, the dance-and-word performance youAI: train, adapt, perform tackles questions of how kinds of AI may be differentiated, what elements of language might be redeveloped to allow for more appropriate discussions around AI, what a body is and how bodies are related, and the manner in which the conceptual framing of AI-systems can be narrated.

Thursday August 22, 12:50 - 13:30 CEST Auditorium 3 (1441-113)

Dylan Cawthorne, University of Southern Denmark

Dylan Cawthorne is an Associate Professor at the Drone Center at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. He tries to make the world a better place using ethics, technology, and art. Dylan is an interdisciplinary researcher, champion for the use of ethics and human values in engineering, and an activist engineer. His main area of research is using value sensitive design methods and ethical principles to design and build prototype drones.  He recently published the first book on the value sensitive design of drones, The Ethics of Drone Design.  Currently, Dylan is developing his artistic practice which utilizes the medium of technology to explore technology, its impact on humans, and its impact on the natural world.

Technology for Non-Humans: Cyborg Plants with Biological Intelligence (Sculptures + Performance)

The technological world is designed for the benefit of one species – humans.  In this artwork, robotic technologies are instead developed for non-human stakeholders – plants.  In 1985, Donna Haraway wrote A Cyborg Manifesto which suggested potential benefits of humans merging with technology – that it could allow us to enhance ourselves, and in so doing become more human.  This concept is now applied to non-humans, fusing the technological with the biological to enhance the capabilities of organic entities.  With Artificial Intelligence being developed by humans, we might ask if there is already a vast amount of Biological Intelligence surrounding us.  The work aims to raise philosophical and ethical questions about the nature of Biological Intelligence, the moral status of non-humans, and of the risks that come with technological enhancement.  Technology for Non-Humans will consist of a series of cyborg plants which will be presented as sculptures, and which will also give short kinetic performances.