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Press Info

2003 Press Archive

Extensive information on this year's ArtBots participants is available here. For additional information, including ArtBots background and history, participating artists and their works, high resolution images, and interview requests, please contact:

Douglas Irving Repetto

(download pdf of ArtBots press release)


Douglas Irving Repetto

June 3, 2003

ArtBots: The Robot Talent Show - ArtBots Take Manhattan

New York City, NY - Now in its second year, ArtBots: The Robot Talent Show will take place on July 12th and 13th from noon to 6:00pm at EYEBEAM Gallery in Manhattan's Chelsea art district. Featuring the work of 23 artists and groups from six countries, the show is a hybrid combining aspects of both a juried art exhibition and a traditional talent show. Participants include robots that draw, paint, sculpt, sing, dance, and play musical instruments, as well as many with talents that are a bit harder to pin down; you might call them robotic sculpture or even cybernetic performance artists!

In keeping with the "Robot Talent Show" theme, attendees will be invited to vote for their favorite ArtBot. Two awards will be presented at the end of the show: The Audience Choice Award and The Robot's Choice Award (the artists vote for their favorite ArtBots). All ArtBots artists and curators will be present throughout the event.

In organizing the show ArtBots curators Douglas Repetto, Philip Galanter, and Jenny Lee have drawn from a large and varied pool of open call respondents and invitees. The resulting body of work reflects the diversity of opinions, techniques, strategies, and goals found in the world of robotic art. And while much of the work is playful and lighthearted, robotic art gives its human fans plenty to think about.

"The application of robotics to the arts raises interesting questions about things like authorship, responsibility, intentionality, and even consciousness," notes Repetto, "and those questions have relevance that extends well beyond the arts. When an artist makes a robot that makes a painting, who's the painter? Who's responsible? Does it matter? If it's good, who (or what) takes the credit? What about when a robot makes a mistake, or breaks down? Who takes the fall? The technology being used by many artists today is no different from the technology being used to build robotic companions for the elderly, automated security systems, or self-guided missiles. As is often the case, artists are at the forefront of these technological and social developments, asking, if not always answering, important questions about the world we're creating."

Philip Galanter notes, "As with last year's show we've tried to create an event that appeals not only to academically inclined connoisseurs of high technology art, but also families looking for a fun, kid-friendly, afternoon out. With 23 works the exhibition pitches a range of ideas, some of which may be contradictory. If there is an overall trend, however, it is the digital shift of emphasis from the virtual to the physical. A sufficiently complex base of technologies for robotics will yield physical systems that reach out to us in ways that exhibit the surprise, variety, fecundity, and decay of the natural world. Eschewing technology art as a virtual never-world requiring sense numbing LCD-goggles and cyber-gloves to fool the body, these artists have chosen to explore alternate realities, and alternate creatures, by creating them right here in the physical world."

Jenny Lee remarks, "The identity of the creator shifts between human and machine when electronics, digital technology, and natural elements are used as part of the artistic endeavour. Technology, by definition, is precise, quantifiable, and to large extent, predictable. In the hands of artists, technology often results in the unpredictable and quirky. The intersection and overlap of human and machine are intriguing and inspiring. The works in ArtBots are great examples of what is possible when people think beyond the boundaries of standard, technological applications and traditional approaches to artmaking.

Information on all ArtBots participants, including images, artist statements, biographies, and links, is available now on the ArtBots website:


ArtBots: the Robot Talent Show

Cost: this is a FREE event
Date: Saturday and Sunday, July 12th and 13th, 2003
Time: Noon to 6:00 p.m.

540 W 21st Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues)
New York, NY 10011

Nearest Subway: A/C/E/1/9 to 23rd Street

Additional information, including schedules, directions to the event, and information about the participants is available at:

ArtBots Works and Participants:

50 drones: David Bowen (Minneapolis, MN)
Automated Architecture Robot: Ira Spool, Anna Tsypin (Brooklyn, MA)
BabyBott: Stefan Prosky (New York, NY)
chair de poule: Brad Todd (Quebec, Canada)
Drawing Machine 3.1415926: Fernando Orellana (Columbus, OH)
Drums of War: Rahul Bhargava, Mira Friedlander (McLean, VA)
Fotron2000(FOE-tron-too-THAU-zin(d)): Daniel Paluska, Jessica Banks, jackbackrack (Cambridge, MA)
freqout: David Webber, Keith Waters, Berwick Research Institute (Roxbury, MA)
Happy Feet: Stephen Turbek (Brooklyn, NY)
LEMUR: League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots (Brooklyn, NY)
Lev: Ranjit Bhatnagar (Brooklyn, NY)
MEART - "The semi living artist": SymbioticA Research Group in collaboration with The Steve Potter Lab (Western Australia/Atlanta, GA)
micro.adam & micro.eva: julius popp (Berlin, Germany)
Monkey On Your Back: Kal Spelletich/SEEMEN (San Francisco, CA)
Neil: Jason Van Anden (Brooklyn, NY)
Phrase: Leesa and Nicole Abahuni (Farmingdale, NY)
Robots like H2O: Photosythesis Perpetual Motion Machine: Futurefarmers (San Francisco, CA)
Scratchrobot: Stijn Slabbinck (Ghent, Belguim)
Shootings (After Francisco de Goya): Han Gene Paik (Brooklyn, NY)
Slowscan Soundwave: Douglas Irving Repetto (New York, NY)
small work for robot and insects: host productions (Liverpool, UK)
Tribblation: Josh Lifton, Michael Broxton, Joseph Paradiso (Cambridge, MA)
The Watchers - Televisuality for Xenia: John S. Lathram lll (Columbus, OH)

ArtBots Staff:

ArtBots Director: Douglas Irving Repetto
ArtBots Curators/Producers: Douglas Irving Repetto, Philip Galanter, Jenny Lee
EYEBEAM Producers: Andrea Harner and Jonah Peretti
Executive Producer: The Columbia University Computer Music Center
Website Design: The Mysterious Liz and D.I.R.
ArtBots Theme Song: Christopher Bailey

ArtBots Sponsors:

Producing Organization: The Columbia University Computer Music Center (

Hosting Organization: EYEBEAM (

Other Sponsors: Pratt Institute (
The NYU Arts Technology Group (


High quality photos of the participating ArtBots are available upon request.

Please contact via e-mail where possible.

Interview and Photo Contact:
Douglas Irving Repetto (ArtBots Director)


All materials on this website copyright 2000-2022 douglas irving repetto and the individual artists.