BBM and BlinkenArea
movie by BlinkenArea
Experimental Prototype Killers of Tomorrow***
April 23rd to 27th 2012
HANNOVER MESSE - Hall 6
EPKOT - Experimental Prototype Killers of Tomorrow" is an interactive scenario for six robots engaged in a "conversation". The mechanical "actors" play the roles of war machines, which hunt in packs for uncooperative humans like dogs or kill their booties like a swarm of hungry animals.
the robots made by BBM find their way without any human intervention and react to the appearance of people in the room. The vehicles of BBM seem to act "intelligently". But what guides their behavior?
The robot´s conversation topic: limits and restrictions, but also unprecedented opportunities for action, beyond any ethical qualms. here we envision the true face of the "revolution in military affairs", as announced during the "war on terror". EPKOT offers visitors the chance to experience both physically and intellectually a future that is organized according to the rules of the military-industrial complex.
EPKOT is a critique of the "imagination of the market" (Walt Disney), a call to all visitors to engage actively for the humanitarian rules in a democratic society.
Robots work today in support of border control troops, they to help carry equipment, guarding prisoners, manoeuvre "safely" through mined or contaminated land while causing no human fatalities.
In addition to their abilities to fly, climb, swim, draw, cut, drill, and rescue, they can kill pretty accurate. Is the robot the perfect murderer of the 21st Century?
Why does it appears so comfortable to us to have the "dirty job" done by a machine? How much responsibility does the device inherit from the soldier? Which kind of society is created by apparatusses with software that allows "certain liberties"?
to answer this questions, BBM and BlinkenArea built a theme park of its own: a hi-tech environment with 150 square meterspixel wall that immersively embeds the robotic audio play.
For EPKOT, BBM cooperates with the UK-based non-governmental organisation ICRAC (International Committee for Robot Arms Control). With the help of internationally renowned experts ICRAC investigated how proliferation of killer machines change democratic societies. Among the participating scientists from ICRAC you´ll find Dr. Steve Wright, who holds a professorship at the University of Leeds for Applied Global Ethics. Wright has been working closely with BBM in the TROIA project on the "technologies of political control" between 2004 - 2006. Founder of ICRAC is Prof. Noel Sharkey, pioneer and critic of "artificial intelligence" and the co-inventor of the BBC format "Robot Wars".
Still, there are no 100% autonomously operating military robots. today, still always two people are requested: one human always operates the joystick and shoots by command of a higher ranking person. But with private military corporations taking over control in the global theatre of operation plus an intricate mix of intelligence and troops, most of our civilisations foundation that have been taken for essential disappear step by step.
with this societal shift, the autonomous military machine has left the science fiction world and the movies and found its way into military "road maps" for the next 30 years. The scenarios for armed killer robot are written and it takes only the political decision to let them go. probably more than 2,000 deaths is the estimated number of fatalities from U.S. drone strikes only in Pakistan between 2004 and March 2012, says Noel Sharkey.
*** The name of the Walt Disney Science Center "EPCOT" has been appropriated and reinterpreted by BBM. The acronym EPCOT originally reads "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow". This is the name of a utopian city of the future. In Walt Disney´s words: "It is a society of tomorrow that will never be finished, but always trys out new technologies and systems. EPCOT is a showcase for the world that exists for the ingenuity and imagination of our economy."
Kulturzentrum Faust Hannover