Amir Bastan

GAZE: About Looking and Being Looked At


In Linz, the newly founded Institute for Digital Sciences Austria IDSA teamed up with Ars Electronica to create the Founding Lab, inviting external experts to provide input and to work with students. Johannes Braumann and me had the pleasure of hosting a short Creative Robotics workshop for the Founding Lab, exploring different situations with Boston Dynamics’ Spot.

Lecture Description:
Industrial robots are being seamlessly integrated into creative processes, enhancing artistic endeavours by automating repetitive tasks and enabling collaborative exploration. This convergence prompts reflection on the evolving role of the artist and the impact of mechanisation on the nature of creativity.
In the course of these lectures, we will examine human-robot interaction from a psychoanalytic perspective, discussing Transference, Fantasies, Fears, and Desires that we experience while working, making, and being with robots.
In the experimental part of the lecture, our focus shifts to the public dimension. We’ll delve into a comprehensive set of skills for operating, programming, and managing Spot, the quadruped robot from Boston Dynamics. Together, we’ll construct an inspection mission on the main square of Linz, emphasising the public space of the Kunstuniversit√§t Linz. The information gathered during this inspection will serve as the basis for the artistic and scientific explorations that will follow within each student’s individual project.