“Robophilia and device art in Japan” presented by Iglesias


Session Title:

  • Critical Robotics

Presentation Title:

  • Robophilia and device art in Japan




  • The current Japanese revolution in industrial, social and service robotics; the different mechanical anthropomorphic developments: assistance dolls, hostesses, dancers and concert performers, etc., are well known due to their constant appearances in all the media. But the situation in which we find ourselves today is a reflection of the natural evolution produced in the world of automata since the middle of the 16th century. Japanese artisan technicians begin to develop their own technology, initially influenced by the Western one. They will have to refine the mechanisms to suit their culture: clocks (wadokei) have to conform to the traditional japanese division of time. This knowledge began to be used in the creation of different wooden automatons: Karakuri ‘mechanical devices to produce surprise in a person’. Its objective is the reproduction of daily actions within Japanese social life: religious or private rituals, theatricalization of historical events, indigenous dances, etc.