An exhibition of the MAK, the Vitra Design Museum, and the Design museum Gent
To some extent unheard and unseen, robotics—driven by Digital Modernity—has already fundamentally altered our working and daily lives. Yet people’s relationship to new technologies is often ambivalent. As the first comprehensive exhibition about the opportunities and challenges surrounding robotics, Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine broadens its scope to include the ethical and political questions arising from these enormous technological advances.
Subdivided into four chapters (“Science and Fiction,” “Programmed for Work,” “Friend and Helper,” “Becoming one”), Hello, Robot. tells the story of a convergence of human and machine, while being organized in an interdisciplinary fashion. More than 200 exhibition objects from the realms of art, design, and architecture, as well as examples from technology, film, literature, fashion, science, and pop culture examine the inexorable hype around intelligent machines and the crucial role played by design. In addition to providing a leitmotif through the exhibition, 14 questions illuminate dealings with robotics. They invite visitors to reassess their own stance towards new technologies and convey that there is a fine line between opportunities and risks.
In the discourse swirling around robotics, design bridges seemingly insurmountable contradictions. While the debate about robots and artificial intelligence swerves back and forth between enthusiasm and criticism, between utopia and dystopia, between hopes for a better, high-tech world and fear that humans will be marginalized, design delivers concrete solutions as well as thought experiments demonstrating that often the truth lies in both extremes simultaneously.
Curators of the VIENNA BIENNALE: Amelie Klein (Vitra Design Museum), Marlies Wirth (MAK)
Curators of Hello, Robot.: Amelie Klein (Vitra Design Museum), Thomas Geisler, Marlies Wirth (MAK), and Fredo de Smet (Design museum Gent, curatorial advisor)
The curators were supported by an international team of advisors which includes such luminaries as Sci-Fi author Bruce Sterling, design researcher Gesche Joost, Turin architect and head of the MIT Senseable City Lab Carlo Ratti, media art specialist Sabine Himmelsbach, and cultural and media studies scholar Paul Feigelfeld.
Participating artists (a selection)
Woody Allen, Archigram, Asmbld, automato.farm, Hanna Barbera, Philip Beesley, Wafaa Bilal, Francis Bitonti, Björk, Julius Breitenstein, Bureau d’études, Sander Burger, Edward Burtynsky, Dan Chen, Jan De Coster, Douglas Coupland, CurVoxels, Daft Punk, Disney/Pixar Animation Studios, Dunne & Raby, ECAL, Tal Erez, Flower Robotics, Vincent Fournier, Yves Gellie, Gramazio Kohler Research/ETH Zurich, Kevin Grennan, Vicente Guallart, Susanna Hertrich, Höweler + Yoon Architecture, Zan-Lun Huang, Ted Hunt/Luke Sturgeon/Hiroki Yokoyama, ICD University of Stuttgart, Interactive Architecture Lab, Alfredo Jaar, Spike Jonze, Joris Laarman Lab, Floris Kaayk, Frederick Kiesler, Elizabeth King/Richard Kizu-Blaire, Dirk Vander Kooij, Kraftwerk, KRAM/WEISSHAAR, Stanley Kubrick, George Lucas, Greg Lynn, Keiichi Matsuda, MIT Senseable City Lab, Shawn Maximo, Moth Collective, NASA, Next Nature Network, Christoph Niemann, Tatsuya Matsui, Gonçalo F Cardoso/Ruben Pater, Johanna Pichlbauer/Mia Meusburger, Eric Pickersgill, Joseph Popper, Gerard Ralló, Carlo Ratti, Alexander Reben, robotlab, Rafaël Rozendaal, Philipp Schmitt/Stephan Bogner/Jonas Voigt, Takanori Shibata, Masamune Shirow, Hajime Sorayama, Ismael Soto, Bruce Sterling/Sheldon Brown, Superflux, Jacques Tati, Kibwe Tavares, Osamu Tezuka, UCL, Anouk Wipprecht i.a.