Tweenbots are robots that navigate the city by the help of the people they meet. The project came about by an interest and an idea: the interest was in the way that we move through city space– what do we think about, how do we create maps and meaning based on our impressions and encounters as we go from one place to another? And, the idea was that I could facilitate narrative related to this complexity by creating objects that traverse the space along with us.
Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and are at the mercy of pedestrians they encounter to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal. The journey the bots take each time they are released in the city becomes a story of people’s willingness to engage with a strange– and some would say potentially suspicious– character.
As each encounter with a helpful pedestrian takes the robot one step closer to attaining it’s destination, the significance of our random discoveries and individual actions accumulates into a story about a vast space made small by an even smaller robot.
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