[csaa-forum] The Fibreculture Journal--CFP--Creative Robotics

Andrew Murphie andrew.murphie at gmail.com
Thu Apr 3 20:19:16 CST 2014

Call for Papers March 2014 (please circulate):

Creative Robotics:
Rethinking Human–Machine Configurations.

Issue Editors: Petra Gemeinboeck and Jill Bennett and Elena Cox.

abstract deadline: April 25, 2014 article deadline: July 31, 2014
publication aimed for: November, 2014


Please note that for this issue, initial submissions should be abstracts
all contributors and editors must read the guidelines at;
before working with the Fibreculture Journal
email correspondence for this issue: petra at unsw.edu.au

“If one thinks of a classic ‘upstairs/downstairs’ scenario, it is no longer
clear where the robots will be lodging” (Turkle, 2010)

We are on the verge of a robotic revolution, a revolution that has long
been foreshadowed by science fiction such as Karel Čapek’s play
*R.U.R.*(Rossum’s Universal Robots) in 1920 and Isaac Asimov’s first
collection of
stories *I, Robot *in 1950. Today, robots are infiltrating our everyday
lives, in the form of complex toys, household appliances, and assistants in
therapy, eldercare and education. Billions of dollars are being spent every
year to turn machines into co-inhabitants, co-workers, assistants, carers,
and entertainers. Together with autonomous, self-driving cars and Amazon’s
delivery drones, robots promise to radically change our lives in the very
near future.

Looked at from this perspective, one could view this ‘robotic revolution’
as simply a matter of investment and technological advancement, in the
service of society’s needs. But the next phase in the ongoing human–machine
coevolution brings with it an abundance of pressing questions to explore.
Fast growing robotics areas such as Social Robotics and Human–Robot
Interaction enlist the expertise of researchers in psychology, biology,
cognitive science and social science to contribute their views to dilemmas
such as how social robots should look, or how they can interact ‘naturally’
with people. So far the most popular response has been to make the social
robot as human-like as possible, neatly closing the loop on science fiction
imaginaries such as Asimov’s *Bicentennial Man*. Yet, before considering
the pragmatics of form, function and behaviour, it is worth asking whether
we as a culture understand these fundamental questions yet. And who asks
the questions? Robots and human–robot configurations are historically and
culturally constructed socio-material assemblages, materially enacting
provocative political, social and aesthetic relations. Currently, our
visions seem to be arrested along the boundary of the human– machine
binary; we are either invested in blurring this boundary or reaffirming it.

The Creative Robotics issue of the *Fibreculture Journal *deliberately
positions itself at the uneasy nexus out of which these sociomaterial
assemblages emerge, while subscribing to a fundamentally experimental,
embodied and performative approach. It addresses an emerging research area
that brings concepts and methods from experimental arts and performance,
and critical perspectives from social anthropology to the interdisciplinary
research of human–robot interaction. The Creative Robotics issue wants to
manifest a sense of the scope and diversity of questions and issues raised
by present visions of human–robot configurations. At the same time, it
wants to unhinge, open up and expand these visions.

To produce this transdisciplinary discourse, this issue of the *Fibreculture
Journal *invites contributions from a wide range of fields and practices,
including experimental arts; performance and dramaturgy; science,
technology and society; social anthropology; human–robot interaction (HRI);
robotics, embodied cognitive science; and artificial
intelligence/philosophy. Contributions could explore:

• representation vs. ontology
• embodiment and performativity
• aesthetics and affect
• machines and performance
• thinking with the machine body
• cultural and historical practices
• differentiated entry points for human–machine configurations
• human–robot kinesics and communication
• new practices in human–robot interaction

To shape the discursive landscape of this special issue our editorial
process aims for a meshwork of perspectives and a mix of theoretical and
experimental practices that explore sociomaterial relations and the ways in
which they are historically, culturally and technologically constituted.

The Fibreculture Journal (http://fibreculturejournal.org/) is a peer
reviewed international journal, associated with Open Humanities Press (
http://openhumanitiespress.org/), that explores critical and speculative
interventions in the debate and discussions concerning information and
communication technologies and their policy frameworks, network cultures
and their informational logic, new media forms and their deployment, and
the possibilities of sociotechnical invention and sustainability.


"A traveller, who has lost his way, should not ask, Where am I? What he
really wants to know is, Where are the other places" - Alfred North

Andrew Murphie - Associate Professor
School of the Arts and Media,
University of New South Wales,
Sydney, Australia, 2052

Editor - The Fibreculture Journal http://fibreculturejournal.org/>
web: http://www.andrewmurphie.org/ <http://dynamicmedianetwork.org/>

tlf:612 93855548 fax:612 93856812
room 311H, Robert Webster Building
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