Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Art of Living Dangerously

July 2006 issue features an interview of Karen Marcelo by Annalee Newitz.

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Interview: The art of living dangerously

* 15 July 2006
* Annalee Newitz
* Magazine issue 2560

What happens when technology is unleashed as art? Who controls rampaging robots built from scrap? High-tech artist and icon Karen Marcelo explains

In San Francisco's underground high-tech arts scene, Karen Marcelo is an icon. A computer programmer by day, she's also a member of performance art group Survival Research Labs. SRL artists build robots with equipment they find in junkyards and military-industrial waste bins, setting them loose in a kind of anarchic frenzy with no practical purpose. This is technology for art's sake.

Marcelo often plays the role of the hacker behind the art - coding software that allows people to control gun-shooting robots from remote locations over the web or developing user interfaces for remote-controlled sculptures. Her motivation is to create art that is interactive, involving the audience in the experience of controlling huge machines that often appear uncontrollable. In 2002, she began a semi-regular public event in San Francisco called Dorkbot, where tech art innovators meet to show and discuss new works. In the last four years, Dorkbot has become ...


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