The Travelling Gallery Scottish Arts Council Edinburgh Council Scottish Arts Council Lottery Funded

Wendy McMurdo

small robot.jpg

Title: Early Research Robot (i)
Materials: Digital Print

In 2009 I began a project thinking about the development of artificial intelligence, especially in the form of robotics. The image of the robot has traditionally embodied our longing to create what science fiction novelist Isaac Asimov first described as the 'electronic other'.

Our traditional idea of the robot (human form, fabricated from metal and reminiscent of 50's sci-fi novels, both alienating and alien) is now hopelessly outdated.

Most of us have played with robotic toys and in the U.S and Japan, 'social robots' such as Paros the seal, used to befriend the elderly in care homes, are common place.

Now, the integration of so-called 'nurturent' technologies into our physical lives creates new feelings and new relationships.

Early Research Robot (i) is one of a series of works which explicitly reference the world of social robotics.

How far are we willing to allow robots into our lives? Can they take the place of friends or even family in a world in which technology plays an important part.

Can we 'love' a robot?

Wendy McMurdo has exhibited in a wide variety of exhibitions showcasing developments in contemporary photography. She is currently a Leverhulme Fellow, picturing developments in contemporary robotics. This year, The Photographers Gallery has commissioned her for the 'World in London' project to be shown as part of the 2012 London Olympics. Her new work on robotics is published in the upcoming issue of Source - the magazine for contemporary photography in the U.K and Ireland.

Acknowledgements: The Leverhulme Trust, Creative Scotland

Wendy McMurdo received an Alt-w award in 2009.

Visit Wendy's website