Somerset House – London
15 / 04 / 2016 - 16 / 04 / 2016

Over recent years tiny automated and nonsensical beings have infiltrated our daily life via twitter and email. They have taken delight in agitation by imitating human behaviours – from telling jokes to online-dating. These small computer programmes are called bots (derived from the word robot) and their repetitive and often simple actions have brought fun to – and often poked fun at – the Internet platforms that now mediate our lives.

This weekend of workshops, labs and bot showcases will be a chance to meet pioneers of the bot making community, gain an insight into their practices and also uncover the darker side of these computer programmes.

Bot creators come in many different guises and our weekend will feature artists, whistleblowers, developers, gamers, comedians, thinkers and inventors from this global micro-community.

arts of bot 2

In the showcase discover more about bot behaviours and their creative potential plus how these are connected to histories in automata and movements such as Dada and Fluxus. It will be a unique opportunity to get hands-on with bot inventions and prototypes as they are being created.

Talks and presentations will take the form of the Disruption Network Lab: Bots curated by Tatiana Bazzichelli. This is an ongoing platform of events where artists, hackers, networkers, whistleblowers and critical thinkers enter into a dialogue. This keynote and panel discussion will consider and interrogate the political and artistic potential emerging from the relationship between surveillance and the use of bots.

Alongside the weekend of events a programme of bot works online we will released. This online programme will feature new and influential bot projects, including work from !Mediengruppe Bitnik.

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Join Abandon Normal Devices for a free weekend of bot inspired performance, workshops, debates and events. Discover how computers are getting better at thinking like us and how they are exposing the cracks in the inner workings of the internet.

The programme is co-curated with Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, a British-Colombian artist based in London known for 3D printed sculpture, bots and the popular blog Algopop.