Feral robots are roving packs of adapted open source robot dogs that are released to investigate contaminated urban sites. The members of these packs begin as commercially available robotic dog toys. Jeremijenko exploits the markets of scale and the corporate distribution power of the toy companies by using robot dogs, the least expensive and most widely distributed robotic platform. The behavior of the dogs is modified with new abilities allowing them to sense an environmental toxin, to follow concentration gradients of that toxin and to display information with their movement. Using the movements of the dogs to visualize information makes them accessible to a wider audience, even very young children. The pack releases also create mediagenic events that draw attention to the contaminated sites.
Another project, OOZ Robotics, inverts this approach. Instead of taking domestic technology into the wild, it takes goose decoy-like devices and bring them into dense urban contexts. These hunting devices are redesigned to introduce an architecture of reciprocity by allowing interaction with the geese. In short, these projects, and potentially some others will demonstrate that we can structure the participantion of humans, subhumans, and nonhumans to make substantive contributions.
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Natalie Jeremijenko is a new media artist, currently at UCSD, who works at the intersection of contemporary art, science, and engineering. Her work takes the form of large-scale public art works, tangible media installations, single channel tapes, and critical writing. It investigates the transformative potential of new technologies - particularly information technologies. Jeremijenko's work has been exhibited internationally at prestigious venues such as Dokumenta, Kassel, Germany, the Whitney Biennial, New York; Art Space, Sydney; ZKM, Karlsruhe; P.S. 1, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. She has held positions of Lecturer Convertible in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Yale; Consultant to the Advanced Computer Graphics Center/Media Research Lab, Department of Computer Science, at NYU; and Distinguished Visiting Critic in the Department of Art, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Consultant Research Scientist at the Computer Science Lab, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.
Jeremijenko earned a B.S. in Neuroscience and Biochemistry at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia, and went on to receive a B.F.A. with Honors from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. After pursuing graduate course work in Mechanical Engineering (Design Division) at Stanford, she returned to Australia to work towards a Ph.D. in the School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.
This presentation is one of a series from the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference held in San Diego, California, March 14-17, 2005.
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