The Robots Exhibit: Evolution of a Cultural Icon

By: lourdes sanchez bayas - Published: Apr 14, 2008 • References: sjmusart.org and vimeo
This huge styrofoam robot, Styrobot, was unveiled at the San Jose Museum of Art recently. The Styrobot which is 22 feet long, is made out of that white foamy polystyrene packing material most of us are familiar with.

The Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon exhibit will be on display until October 2008. The exhibit features the robotic work of more than 20 artists.

According to the exhibit website, Robots, "examines the development of robot iconography in fine art over the past 50 years. In 1920, the term robot was coined from a Czech word robota, which means tedious labor. Since then, the image and the idea of a robot have evolved remarkably from an awkward, mechanical creature to a sophisticated android with artificial intelligence and the potential for human-like consciousness. As robotic technology catches up with the wild imagination of science fiction novels, movies, and animation, dreams and fears anticipated in these stories may also become reality. Artists included in the exhibition have responded to the technological innovation with optimism, pessimism, and humor, presenting work that ultimately explores our ambivalent attitudes towards robots."