Purposeful linear movement should be impossible. Nature took eons to fashion itself a flagella, to say nothing of jazzercise or fingers mashing in a Konami Code. Creative human minds have been imagining robots as mystics, entertainers and scientists for centuries and to now be in an era where we can make robots in the image of a turtle or cow is astounding. Lift your nondominant hand, consciously wave it around, swat at a fly, rub your belly, touch a screen, it’s all miraculous.
To say nothing of purposeful thought! This momentous field of robotics is struggling to find real meaning in all its innovation, with high-level institutional bots being built and purposed for sterile medical use or sinister military commercial and industrial uses. When every motor and servo is immaculately designed for such purely logical purpose, it’s hard to imagine that a robot that really reflects the darker irrational artistic or spiritual forces that shape our world.
A “robot” worthy of conception and creation could be a predator drone, a household vacuum cleaner, a branded spam bot gone berserk, an educational chatbot feigning ignorance at how math works, a paraplegic playing baseball, an artificial heart, a thermostat, a car or a sex toy. “Robot” is a constructed entity-object existing in that magic realm where dreams and science overlap.
Bot Party aspires to celebrate our very dynamic human uselessness by building equally silly characters and repurposing robots for live interactive comedy theatre. Artificial Intelligence must be paired with Artificial Stupidity if we are to open the door to discovery and find a complementary place for robots, and ultimately ourselves, in our moral and cultural landscape.