[Conference Keynote] Limits of the Human, Machines without Limits? Contemporary Stage and Robotics: Exchanges and Collaborations
6-7-8 October, Irene Alcubilla Troughton, Ruowen Xu and Maaike Bleeker presented at the international symposium Limits of the Human, Machines without Limits? Contemporary Stage and Robotics: Exchanges and Collaborations.
Irene Alcubilla Troughton presented the paper “Rule-Based Improvisation in Social Robotics: The Value of Limits and Emergence in HRI”, which explored how improvisation practices can provide a common ground between roboticists and dancers, and offer interesting and novel ways of developing robotic movement and HRI that move beyond human imitation.
Ruowen Xu’s paper “Emergence From the Void: Alter’s Technological and Cultural Performances of Emptiness” addressed the topic of “emptiness” as an emerging HRI design heuristics in Japan’s social robotic stage, embodied particularly in Hirata Oriza’s android theatre.
Maaike Bleeker’s keynote lecture “From HRI to Human-Robot Intra-Action, and Some More Lessons from the Theatre” presented a response to Heather Knight’s pioneering text “Eight Lessons Learned about Non-verbal Interactions through Robot Theatre” (2011). She showed how theatre may contribute to new materialist and posthuman approaches that shift attention from imitation to relatability and relationality, and allow for new ways of understanding the agency of non-human actors, and acknowledge human-technology interactions and HRI as open ended developments that build on historically and culturally specific ways of perceiving, interpreting and interacting, while also holding the potential of transforming these very practices and taking them in new directions.