Embodying a Future for the Future: Creative Robotics and Ecosophical Praxis

In recent years I have begun to integrate creative robotics into my ecosophical art practice, which I have long deployed to investigate, materialise and engage the thorny, ecological questions of the Anthropocene. I have been seeking to understand how this form of practice may promote the cultural conditions required to assure, rather than to degrade, our collective futures. When creative robotics and ecosophical practice combine forces in hybrid, strategic intervention, might this fusion further the central aim of ecosophy – to encourage cultural conditions required to assure a future for the future?  Many of us would instinctively conceive of robotics as an industrially driven endeavour, shaped by the pursuit of relentless efficiencies. Instead, I indicate through my practice that the field of creative robotics is emerging with radically different frames of intention. In other words, creative practitioners might still be able to shape mainstream experiences of robotic media that retain a healthy criticality towards such productivist lineages. Will this nascent form bring forward fresh new techniques and assemblages that better spark conversations around ecosophy and, if so, which of its many approaches present the greatest opportunities?  In this article I present a context for, and some examples of, prior work to give an overview of (my) ecosophical practice. I then detail the recent integration of creative robotics into the practice, and analyse achievements in relation to the work’s broader aspirations in my installations Night Rage (2013), Night Fall (2013-14) and Light of Extinction(2014).

FOR: Pubished online: FCJ28 : Creative Robotics – Rethinking Human Machine Configurations, 2016


FULL REFERENCE: Armstrong, K M, 2016, Embodying a Future for the Future: Creative Robotics and Ecosophical Praxis in FibreCulture Journal Vol. 211, 2016. (URL http://twentyeight.fibreculturejournal.org/2017/01/23/fcj-211-embodying-a-future-for-the-future-creative-robotics-and-ecosophical-praxis/, accessed 6 March, 2017)