Holobot. Social garden

2022-00-00 / 2022-00-00 Medialab < Tabakalera < Donostia / San Sebastián < Gipuzkoa
Holobot. Social garden

HOLOBOT. SOCIAL GARDEN is an artistic piece in the form of a space where some of the connections between social media users converge in a holographic vegetable reality that hybridises them. An industrial robot becomes a performer, transforming social interactions into a composition in the form of a large virtual garden created with the participation of attendees and social media activity during the 31st edition of the International Machine Tool Biennial to be held from 13 to 17 June at the Bilbao Exhibition Center.  Its aim is to create an analogy between technology and nature, in a determined social context where the presence of technology and human interaction seem inevitable. Through its perspective and ecosystemic awareness, Holobot will draw a landscape comprised of an assortment of virtual creatures. 

To do this, the piece will use a robotic arm to create images through movement and the use of light. The images created by Holobot will be the result of social media interactions and communication with exhibition attendees.  Everyone using any of the hashtags that Holobot creates will be intercepted and arranged in the form of a simulated vegetable reality. The robot will gather input from users around it to create a personalised and distorted image of them, reproducing a light image though a combination of movement and the use of LED signal sources. The beam of this light will be collected by a camera that will produce a final image that will be added to this grand garden of plants and creatures though Twitter and Instagram posts. 

Holobot delves into questions like the purely human socialisation that seems increasingly predictable and replicable, both in form and substance. By creating a being like Holobot, and thanks to its system of automatic interaction with third-party social networks that acts as a collector of interactions and exhibition friends, it proposes something as simple as making a physical social network bot that creates a dialogue with its social environment through artistic expression.  

In recent years, it has been discovered that plants communicate between each other with electric impulses through the subsoil in what has come to be called the Internet of Plants or the Wood Wide Web. It is a web of roots, mycorrhiza, fungi, and nutrients that resembles a huge ecosystemic social network between living beings. This is much like how human beings built the internet, the defining tool of the 21st century, underground and undersea in the form of a network. However, most of the general public continues to think of the network of networks as a great cloud that is intangible, clean, and lacking material, while it is actually built from cables, plastic, and minerals that cross each other and spread out in a similar fashion to the rhizomatic network of the Wood Wide Web that, in this case, also connects our homes to all of us like plants and seeds in a great forest of information.

Holobot is a collaborative project between the international automation company Kuka, the Tekniker technology centre and Medialab Tabakalera.