OCTOBER 5—30, 2012


Robots and avatars – our colleagues and playmates of the future?
Interdisciplinary exhibition
Maribor, Slovenia, October 5–30, 2012

Robots and avatars – our colleagues and playmates of the future? is an interdisciplinary exhibition based on technological objects and extensions such as robots, avatars, virtual worlds, telepresence and real time presence in correlation to social creative places, cultural environments, interactive entertainment and play space. This interconnected framework of events comprises selected mobile exhibition artworks, workshop learning experiences, and artist interviews and discussions.

Robots and Avatars departs from pop culture imagery and re-imagines these technologies for a new reality: how do we envisage our future relationships with robotic and avatar colleagues and playmates, and at what point does this evolution cross our personal boundaries of what it is to be a living, feeling human being?
The exhibition presents a variety of immersive experiences – from unconventional approaches to social networks, their re-defining and exploring their influences and dead ends, through virtual worlds rendered into pixels through the act of touch, collaborative landscapes stretching beyond the confines of popular gaming, to electro-acoustic biological extensions, wearable technologies and interactive robotic elements that affect and try to define us, to seemingly ordinary, human behavior imitating robots.

The exhibition involves three new works, produced as part of the Robots and Avatars project: The Blind Robot (Louis Philippe Demers / Processing Plant), Sociable Assymetry (Ruairi Glynn / Motive Colloquies) and Visions of Our Communal Dreams (Michael Takeo Magruder, Drew Baker, Erik Fleming, David Steele). All of these were created in 2012.

Robots and avatars – our colleagues and playmates of the future? showcases the visions and innovations from international artists, designers and architects who have responded to an international public call for proposals with their projects exploring the impact of modern technologies on the future of work and play. The exhibited works were selected by the following committee: Ghislaine Boddington (body-data-space, London, UK), Mike Stubbs (FACT, Liverpool, UK), Aleksandra Kostič (KIBLA, Maribor, Slovenia), David Sebal (Digital department of National Theatre, London, UK), Istvan Szakáts (AltArt, Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Cameron Bobro (independent artist, Santa Barbara, USA) and Peter Tomaž Dobrila (Public Institute Maribor 2012 – ECC, Maribor, Slovenia).
The Robots and Avatars project is part of the European year for “active ageing and intergenerational solidarity” 2012 and the European Capital of Culture – Maribor 2012.

With an interactive educational program and by means of school interventions the exhibition aims to encourage the development of skills and thinking that will be indispensable to young people in future professions, though these are not yet formed.
The exhibition Robots and Avatars has presented at FACT, Liverpool (UK) from March 16 to May 27, 2012. In an extended version it will address the various audiences in Maribor on the locations of KIBLA and KIT between October 5 to 30, 2012, in co-production with Maribor 2012 – European Capital of Culture. The mobile exhibition will continue its tour in a reduced version and finally stop at AltArt, Cluj-Napoca, Romania from 5 to 18 November 2012.


The exhibition is part of the RACIF project, coordinated by lead organiser body>data>space, London (UK) and co-organisers KIBLA, Maribor, Slovenia and AltArt, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The project is supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union. The Slovenian version is financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia and co-produced with Maribor 2012 – European Capital of Culture.