NEoN Digital Arts Archive

People in the audience

Hello Robot Panel

Various Artists

Monday 4 November, 12:00pm – 1:00pm

V&A Dundee
Juniper Auditorium
1 Riverside Esplanade
Dundee, DD1 4EZ

With a tide of change sweeping the globe and the socio-political landscape increasingly subject to crisis and change, automation, algorithms and AI are playing an influential role within this paradigm.

So who are we to trust? This panel of artists and technologists explores the complex anthropomorphic relationships we have with gadgets and robots and how this shapes our world view. The panel will include Kirsty Hassard, Jan de Coster, Professor Ruth Aylett and Julien Ottavi.

About the Panel

Kirsty Hassard is the curator of the Hello, Robot. exhibition at V&A Dundee, which investigates how robots are helping to shape the world we live in, showing how design is a mediator in this relationship between human and machine. A relative newcomer to the world of robotics, she was previously assistant curator of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum and was assistant curator on the Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion exhibition. She has an MA in History and an MLitt in Dress and Textile Histories from the University of Glasgow. She has lectured and published on the relationship between print culture and fashion in eighteenth-century London and Paris.

Jan De Coster grew up with a vivid fascination for physics, science fiction stories and hacking stuff. In college, he realized that all the stories around science were often far more appealing than the theory behind them, and in the mid 90’s he started on his first multimedia productions.
In 2007, Jan founded Slightly Overdone Robots, a production studio which explores the horizons of Human-Robot interaction, where he has been making interactive installations and Robots ever since.
On his quest to make Robots a more widely accepted creative medium, Jan is now teaching young and old about building Robots, focusing on the design and the process, and the way they make us feel.
In the late 90’s Jan De Coster started making interactive projects and physical installations, with a strong focus on storytelling.
Jan has a background in physics and engineering and worked at different Advertising agencies at the beginning of his career. In recent years, he started teaching and giving workshops and lectures about innovation, creativity and especially robots. These workshops have brought him to visit and engage with creative communities from Qatar to Mexico. His robots have been travelling the world as a part of different exhibitions and his social robots explore the meaning of human-robot interaction.

Prof Ruth Aylett – Ruth is Professor of Computer Sciences in the School of Maths and Computer Science at Heriot-Watt University. She researches Affective Systems, Social Agents in both graphical and robotic embodiments, and Human-Robot Interaction, as well as Interactive Narrative. She led three EU projects (VICTEC, eCIRCUS and eCUTE) in the period 2001-2012 applying empathic graphical characters to education against bullying (FearNot!) and in cultural sensitive (ORIENT, Traveller, MIXER). She also worked as a PI in the projects LIREC (investigating long-lived robot companions) and EMOTE (an empathic robot tutor). She led the EPSRC-funded network of excellence in interactive narrative, RIDERS. She is currently PI of the project SoCoRo (Socially Competent Robots) which is investigating the use of a mobile robot to train high-functioning adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder in social interaction. She has authored more then 250 referred publications in conferences, journals and book chapters, and has been an invited speaker at various events, most recently AAMAS 2016.

Julien Ottavi – Doctor in Arts, Composer, Artist, Curator. A media activist, artist-researcher, composer/musician, poet and tongues destroyer, experimental filmmaker and an architect, founder and member of Apo33, Julien Ottavi is involved in research and creative work, combining sound art, real-time video, new technologies and body performances. Since 1997, he develops a composition work using voice and its transformation through the computer. Active developer of audio/visual programs with Puredata, he has also developed since many years DIY electronics (radio transmitters, oscillators, mixers, amplifiers, video transmitters…etc) in the perspective of knowledge sharing on technological development.
Main developer for the Gnu/Linux operating system APODIO for digital art and A/V & streaming diffusion. His practices are not limited to the art spheres but cross different fields from technological development to philosophy / theoretical research, biomimetic analysis, robotics and experimentation. For many years he reflects on the relations between experimental practices and collective practices within the creation of autonomous collective groups, putting in question the authorship strategy of the “art ideology.”

In collaboration with V&A Dundee

Photography Kathryn Rattray