Is there a story for me to tell?

Our first meeting was a shock for me. When I looked at the robot all I could see was how lonely and abandoned it was. All I saw was an object that was longing to belong, to be loved and to find the place where it could belong. It wasn’t what I had expected, how could a robot look so lonely and afraid?

A robot is a human machine. This robot is made of plastic pieces that we call for Lego and built by one of my friends, you know her as Shelly. I got the robot as a gift when I was in Seattle. And ever since then I’ve been thinking about what story I should portray with this machine, this mechanical man.

What do I know about robots?

I don’t know anything about robots, but they fascinate me and robots seem to be able to do amazing stuff. All they do is work, work and work… no fun… Robots do the jobs that people can’t do or won’t do, and they seems to be able to do it for ever, or at least until they break, then we with little regret replace them. But on the other hand all robots I know of are created and controlled by humans.

I have been working around the question: what story should I portray with this robot, is their even a story that I can portray? Is there a red thread for a story that I don’t see? Or is there only random photographs of an amazing robot? During the holidays I took some time and collected my pictures of the robot in a collection and suddenly I saw something that I want to investigate. It became clearer and clearer that there is a context that I’m intrigued about and that is what I want to portray.

I want to tell you about the ordinary life of a small (or if it is large) robot. And I don’t mean the working ordinary life, because I know little or non of that, but the ordinary life. The ordinary life that a robot dreams about or would dream about if they could. For me this is a  Eureka-moment. And with those come a lot of questions like: Do machines have a life? Clearly they have. But do they have a consciousness? Do they know that they have a life, a beginning and an end, a purpose? Do they have feelings? Dreams? Or are they just machines with only one purpose: to work for us.

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But to be clear I see my work with the robot, which I think will be a series of photographs, approximately XX pictures, as a search for answers to my questions. The working title for now is “a robot’s everyday life, if there is one beyond the engine and clatter“.

Kristina

I have collected some of my Robot pictures on my blog and when I look at them I see a seasonal theme… what will happen in the spring and during the summer?

7 Replies to “Is there a story for me to tell?”

  1. My fascination with robots goes back to my first viewing of Bladerunner. When Roy Batty speaks the immortal lines: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die.” I was hooked on robots (and replicants) forever. I found these words to be extremely profound and I often think about them, and what he must have been feeling, when I am shooting this Robot. What does it mean to be human? I look forward to seeing what story you choose to tell with the little Robot.

    (It’s fitting that Roy Batty’s inception date was Jan 8th 2015, just a few days ago.)

  2. Am sorry to comment on this one rather late but i´m just catching up with all those new post on here: I´m truly hoping not to influence your ideas but…seriously…have you never come across Marvin?? Guessing after having read about that sad, depressed robot everyone will understand a robot and how hard it´s life really is. (Douglas Adams: Hitchhiker´s Guide To The Galaxy)

    1. Thank you Stefan – I have to read Adams because I have never come across Marvin. But as I have said before, I’m not capable to make fiction, only pictures of what I know … But I read the book :)

  3. Robots are wonderful! (At least in fiction they are.) Marvin the Paranoid Android is a classic. C-3PO and R2-D2 are a no-brainer, of course, Robby the Robot, Maria from Metropolis, Wall-E and the Cylons, to name a few, but a great addition to the list are definitively Huey, Dewey and Louie from Silent Running. They were my first introduction to robots.

    I have seen some small LEGO robots, somewhat similar to the one in this photograph, and I think they have a lot of the same sympathetic character Huey, Dewey and Louie have. I really like these LEGO creations. There most certaily is life beyond the engine and clatter, it’ll be fun to see it unfold.

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