Finally! It’s Alive!
ROBOT LOVE officially opened its doors on Friday 15 September.
The Grand Opening of ROBOT LOVE had a comprehensive program. The day started with a well-attended press conference and the professional preview. In the afternoon the ROBOT LOVE symposium was followed by the official opening with international keynote speakers.
As a start of the afternoon program, Martijntje Smits presented her performative ROBOT LOVE symposium based on Plato’s famous Symposium on Love (eros). As an introduction to this symposium, Maxim Februari treated different perspectives to (re)consider love in a technocratic society. On the basis of these starting points, a discussion took place between an ethicist, an experience expert, an engineer, an ICT scientist and a philosopher.
The official part opened with a warm welcome by Emile Aarts, chairman of the Niet Normaal Foundation. Ine Gevers, artistic director and curator of ROBOT LOVE, spoke about the increasing intimacy between humans and machines, and of course about the realization of the concept for the exhibition and the book.
Then it was the turn of keynote speaker Jeroen Tas, CEO of Royal Philips. He spoke about innovation, robotics and AI in healthcare, such as the early detection of cancer, the smart administration of medication and the more efficient use of medical data. ROBOT LOVE recognizes people who come into contact with robots and AI through healthcare to our Early Adopters: the first to build close relationships with robots.
The second keynote speaker was Michela Magas, Design Innovator and advisor of the EU commission on Open Source Innovation. She was deeply touched by the ROBOT LOVE. Not only as an art event but also as a source of inspiration for emancipating technology, one of her most main points for attention. In the near future when man and machine fully merge, and cyborgs are the norm rather than the exception, roles reverse: people with disabilities receive new, exceptional skills and will probably rise above those we consider to be normal. We will renegotiate terms of accessibility in this much more diverse and inclusive society.
The opening act was performed by Henri Swinkels, Provincial-executive of North Brabant, and alderman for Innovation & Brainport Economy Stijn Steenbakkers. They were the first to comfort Annelies, the cloned robotic sister of the artist twins L.A. Raeven. The android robot, built in the image of Liesbeth and Angelique, raises questions about our future with robots as a remedy against loneliness and separation anxiety.
The Grand Opening was closed with a sparkling RoboBall, a collaboration with DayDayGay and Gogbot: music and special video footage of, among others, C-Men VJ, ViaOral, Sander Chan and Cynthia Spiering.