DSM-VI, 2012
Bill Vorn
Robotic art installation
Bill Vorn_web2
Bill Vorn (CA). DSM-VI, 2012. Robotic art installation. 2012 Photo by Csenge Kolozsvari

DSM-VI is a robotic art installation that stages creatures expressing symptoms of “abnormal” psychological behaviors and stuck with some serious “mental health” problems, such as neurosis, psychosis, personality disorders, paranoia, schizophrenia, delirium, and other forms of behavior and mental disorders. The project title is inspired by the famous reference manual published by the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM-IV. The robots are abstract structures made of aluminum, plastic and silicone it is mainly their behaviors that give them an organic and living aspect.

Produced with the help of Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.


Bill Vorn (b. 1959, Montreal, Canada) has worked as an artist and researcher in Interactive and Robotic Art for 20 years. His installation and performance projects involve robotics and motion control, sound, lighting, video and cybernetic processes. He pursues research and creation on Artificial Life and Agent Technologies through artistic work based on the Aesthetics of Artificial Behaviors. He holds a PhD degree in Communication Studies from UQAM (Montreal) for his thesis on Artificial Life as a Media. He teaches Electronic Arts in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University (Intermedia/Cyberarts program) where he holds the rank of Full Professor. He is responsible of the alab, a Robotic Art research-creation lab part of the Hexagram Institute. His work has been presented in many international events, including Ars Electronica, ISEA, DEAF, Sonar, Art Futura, EMAF and Artec. He has been awarded the Life 2.0 award (1999, Madrid), the Leprecon Award for Interactivity (1998, New York), the Prix Ars Electronica Distinction award (1996, Linz) and the International Digital Media Award (1996, Toronto). He was cofounder of the electronic pop music band Rational Youth with Tracy Howe in 1981.