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Irene Alcubilla Troughton

Irene Alcubilla Troughton researches human-robot interaction.

Irene Alcubilla Troughton is a PhD candidate at Utrecht University within the project Acting Like a Robot, where she researches what movement techniques in theater and dance have to offer to the development of human-robot interaction and the design of robot behavior. She holds two RMA degrees in Media, Art and Performance (UU), and Theory and Critique of Culture (Carlos III University). Other interests of her lay on embodied cognition, design studies, and critical disability studies.

Her presentation at the Crash Course in October 2022 focuses on the development of Machine and Robot Art since the 60s until now, and its influence on the field of Performance Art. Offering a brief historical account of how Performance Art was influenced by technology, this lecture will offer examples of paradigmatic pioneers of Machine and Robot art, such as Nam June Paik, Stelarc, Survival Research Laboratories or Simon Penny. An introduction to Cybernetic Theory and the famous exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity shall help in explaining how ideas of feedback loops, as well as human and machine reconfigurations, were being focalised in Performance Art and therefore re-directing some of its initial premises, like the centralisation of the human body and the figure of the artist. A series of examples of modern and contemporary Machine and Robot Art will present a perspective on how the field is developing, and what its current concerns are. Lastly, this presentation will speculate about the future of this field, particularly with regards to the intersection between performance and robotics, through the example of Ulrike Quade Company’s Re-Wired NAO exhibition.

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