The theme for Burning Man 2018 has been announced: I, ROBOT. The gang at Robot Heart is like “duh”, meanwhile the Daft Punk is playing at the trash fence meme clearly gets some new life.

This year we invite participants to use their native genius to create expressive robots of all kinds. We also welcome art that examines how it feels to live in a world that is filled with robots that watch us, track us, hack us, read our tweets and emails, listen to our phone calls, and sell this information to other robots. This is a science fiction theme. As always, any work of art by anyone, regardless of our theme, is welcome at the Burning Man event.

If you’ve been out to the Playa near Gerlach, NV where the annual festival is hosted, you’d know that robots are already a pretty common site out there.

Burning Man 2016 © Jorgp Poto

Technology is a pervasive element on display out there, so this doesn’t feel like a stretch at all.

Burning Man 2016 © Jorgp Poto

But I like that they’re expanding out and noting that it’s all about anything robotic that we encounter daily, which could be the algorithms that decided to show you this article that you may find interesting and/or possibly agree with to some level of measured statistical probability.

This year’s art theme will focus on the many forms of artificial intelligence that permeate our lives; from the humble algorithm and its subroutines that sift us, sort us and surveil us, to automated forms of labor that supplant us. Are we entering a Golden Age that frees us all from mindless labor? Everything, it seems, depends on HMI, the Human-Machine Interface. In a world increasingly controlled by smart machines, who will be master and who will be the slave?

Read more at the Burning Man blog.

I, ROBOT [Burning Man Journal]

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