The Acconci robot


Session Title:

  • Robots and Robotics

Presentation Title:

  • The Acconci robot




  • Wade Marynowsky’s ‘The Acconci Robot’ expands upon his previous investigations into performative robotics. The artist’s robotic works combine artificial life and live art, creating a system of programmed parameters that allow the work to continually unfold and evolve. ‘The Acconci Robot’ is an interactive robot that follows you unawares. Appearing as a shipping crate of minimal design, the robot is mute and motionless as a viewer approaches. But when the audience member turns away, and starts to leave, the robot begins to follow. If the audience member turns to look back at the robot, it stops in its tracks. In this cheeky and playful work, the artist inverts our expectations of the direct engagement and reciprocal exchange typical of interactivity, by creating a work that only responds when the audience is most disengaged from it. The work draws inspiration from a 1969 performance work, ‘Follow piece’ by Vito Acconci, in which the artist followed unsuspecting individuals in an urban setting as far as he could. Acconci’s investigations of the body in public space are recontextualised by Marynowsky in a gallery context, re-examining interaction and audience participation by drawing parallels between sixty’s conceptual performance art and art in the age of interactivity.