Period & Style
Robot/Donut artist Eric Joyner invited SJMA to his studio in San Francisco where he talks about his process and why he chose robots and donuts as subject matter. For the exhibition Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon the San Jose Museum of Art created videos around the work of 6 artists in the exhibition. The artists were Clayton Bailey, Eric Joyner, Nemo Gould, Gail Wight, Lisa Solomon and David Pace. For each artist the museum provided a "Curators Label", where Senior Curator JoAnne Northrup speaks about the artist and why she included them in the exhibition, and an "Artist Label", where the artist talks about their work and how robots have influences them. The exhibition ran April 12 - October 19, 2008. Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon examines the development of robot iconography in fine art over the past 50 years. In 1920, the term robot was coined from a Czech word robota, which means tedious labor. Since then, the image and the idea of a robot have evolved remarkably from an awkward, mechanical creature to a sophisticated android with artificial intelligence and the potential for human-like consciousness. As robotic technology catches up with the wild imagination of science fiction novels, movies, and animation, dreams and fears anticipated in these stories may also become reality. Artists included in the exhibition have responded to the technological innovation with optimism, pessimism, and humor, presenting work that ultimately explores our ambivalent attitudes towards robots.