Robot Bodies

  • United Kingdom
  • 2001

Robot Bodies by the British artist Keith Piper, curator, researcher, academic and co-founder of BLK Art Group, is an interactive installation on three screens that investigates racial metaphors in popular science fiction. The starting point is R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), a play from 1920 by Czech writer Karel Čapek, in which the term 'robot' was first used. The robot is portrayed in Čapek’s play as an entity that is only allowed to perform meaningless, heavy and cheap labour. The fear of a robot class that would rise up against its human masters is a recurring theme in science fiction. 
Piper regards this mechanised Other as a metaphor for characteristic racial differences, in which the mechanical form represents the black body. The visitor can employ interactive interfaces to dissect these notions via three body types; robot, android and cyborg. Each provides access to relevant science-fiction film excerpts and texts that make it possible to draw parallels with historic and social concepts about the black body.

Thu 26 Jan to Sat 4 Feb, 11:00-20:30, V2_, free admission

For all exhibitions, performances, video works and (interactive) installations, also see ​​

Keith Piper
Country of production
United Kingdom
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2017
Keith Piper