Think this was built by one of Bot and Dolly's robots. As Andrew said, looks like a Frank Gehry building.

July 20th, 2013, 7pm

Finally, after a day of films exploring the form and function of the robot, after nibbling artisan food truck pizza and shivering in the grey Potrero almost-twilight for nearly an hour, the gate to the alley opened and we could meet the robots. A back room previously hidden in the bowels of the studio was transformed into a gallery of mechanical wonders from nearby museums and private inventors. A modular humanoid in the process of being reassembled held up a flower as I walked by, while a small hoard of children descended on a pair of battling bots made from legos, gleefully dismembering and reconfiguring at will. Elsewhere, a 2-foot long metal six-legged insect skittered around under the supervision of a man in a top hat with a robot monkey nodding on his shoulder.

Behind all the action, two huge robot arms, the bread and butter of our host venue, twirled through an inscrutable, preprogrammed dance. I tried for a minute to understand what practical purpose it might have, but eventually, just allowed myself to be mesmerized by the movement.

I can’t remember the story behind the only non-robotic exhibit in the gallery; it was mentioned in passing, and quickly, at the end of a long series of shorts earlier in the day. Perhaps it was constructed by a robot (that would make sense, after all) but perhaps not. In either case, Andrew and I stared for a while, admiring the muscularity of its curves, the light leaking through its careful geometry.

I like to think this is where we are going: towards feats of construction and motion like these, projects unconstrained by the human capacity for effort or attention. Towards wonderful things.

Alex and Cassie said thanks.

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Zoelle Egner

Digital literature. Alternate reality games. Science fiction. Cocktails. Octopuses. Excessive pondering. By day I do the technology thing. (Sometimes by night, too.)

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