Alex Reben, “Needy Robotics and Our Intimate Interrelationship with Technology”

thumbnailThis lecture will explore the ever blurring line between people and technology. Both the line that separates living beings from hardware and the line that separates thought from data. Some topics covered will include: Technological anthropomorphism and how we give technology living traits; Projection of ourselves and our emotions onto the inanimate; Control of technology over us and us over technology; Human curiosity as a catalyst for technology; Mischief and how misbehaving technology is often dealt with. These topics are analyzed through the lens of my work which acts as investigations into these ideas. The talk will include a premiere of a rough edit of a documentary film made by robots.

Alexander is an engineer by day and an artist by night. He has a background in robotics, interaction and tangible design. When not working on robots and novel interfaces, Alex creates and builds kinetic, robotic and interactive art. Work Alex has done has been shown at Ars Electronica, IDFA, EYEBEAM, The Whitney Biennial, and others. He has worked on robots for NASA, DOE and MIT. Alex’s investigations into art and science have been published in major proceedings and books. His work has been featured in news outlets such as New Scientist, Fast Company, BBC, CBC, Hack a Day and others, and he has spoken at well known venues including TED and several universities.

Co-presented by the Berkeley Center for New Media.