The Art of Bots (Showcase)

Bots (tiny computer programmes) are everywhere; they allusively infiltrate our online lives.

They come in a variety of guises, from social bots, surveillance bots, to joke bots and news bots. They exhibit a range of human traits including dating and running propaganda campaigns and although largely invisible, they are critical to the inner workings of the internet.

One of the unique characteristics of bots is that they are semi-autonomous: they demonstrate behaviour that is partially the intentions of the programmer (who created the bot) and partially a function of the machine itself. It is this dynamic, the capacity for automation and spontaneity, that The Art of Bots Showcase exploits. At what point does a bot begin to lead a life of its own? Have bots enslaved us or are they revolutionising the way we create, consume and think?

The showcase invites bot pioneers – artists, developers, gamers, thinkers and inventors – to draw on histories in automata and movements such as Dada and Fluxus. They will highlight the perceived connections between bots and everyday objects, drawing on instructions, accidents and anonymity to agitate, displace and question audiences.

During the showcase new bot projects are presented and developed by the pioneers of this global micro-community. The projects present bots in tangible forms, from having a face and delivering an art class, to ritualistic installations and poetry performances, magic and generative cooking recipes. The showcase is an interactive space for visitors to discover the creative potential of bots and the active role these small computer programmes play in our life.

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

15 – 16 April 2016
New Wing, Somerset House, London

Co-curated by: Matthew Plumber Fernandez


Daniel Armengol Altayó,
Julien Deswaef,
Sam Lavigne,
Darius Kazemi,
Allison Parrish,
Katie Rose Pipkin,
Chris Rodley,
Jeff Thompson,
Matt Webb,
Emma Winston