Iris Andraschek & Hubert Lobnig — Cruising Around

Opening, December 13, 2007, 5 pm
Exhibition, December 14, 2007 – February 15, 2008

For their exhibition project Iris Andraschek and Hubert Lobnig are cooperating with the Research Seminar for Transportation Informatics, part of the University Institute for Intelligent System Technologies that is located directly over the galleries of Kunstraum Lakeside. Transdisciplinary research has been carried out here for some time with the aim of developing a self-steered vehicle equipped with cameras and sensors that could soon show university staff the way across the campus and between the university and Lakeside Park as well as transporting campus mail. What is remarkable about its design is that the robot can evidently not only be seen as a product of technological euphoria or efficiency orientation, but that the developers have also ascribed various roles and functions to it that display almost human, identity-forming components: Intelligent machines of this kind have always been both an object of fascination and a cause for anxiety. Andraschek/Lobnig react to the multiple meanings ascribed to the robot by deploying it in a way that both follows the intention of its designers and addresses the sense of unease that futuristic automatons so often elicit. In the artistic interpretation, the robot is equipped with a camera and films the university campus and technology park from a strange and continuous low angle. It can make contact with people as either a communication or observation vehicle (makes you laugh) or it can inspire fear; it monitors and transmits information—but to whom? Is the robot recording what it sees, or merely observing?

Iris Andraschek (b. 1963 in Austria) lives in Vienna and Mödring.

Hubert Lobnig (b. 1962 in Austria) lives in Vienna and Mödring.

Curated by Christian Kravagna and Hedwig Saxenhuber.