Where Are You Going?

I will follow you, will you follow me, all the days and nights that I know will be.

Genesis

Follow You, Follow Me

Although I usually write about arts and culture on this blog I came across a unique little experiment today that I want to share. Tweenbots are the creation of an artist named Kacie Kinzer.  This American artist has taken a simple concept, a small robot trying to reach a destination, and turned it into a social experiment.Basically this minimally built robots are put on the street with a flag that explains their goal, and asks for help.  It is up to random strangers to aid them along their way.  It turns out that people were remarkably helpful and the robots tended to make it where they were going.  The artist gives a thoughful analysis on the site, and I recommend reading it.

I am probably attracted to this idea because of the parallels to Paddle to the Sea. This is not the first time I’ve mentioned this book and it ranks as  one of the most influential texts from my childhood.  Some romantic part of me loves the idea of a small object set adrift in the world with the hope that it will reach it’s destination.  I also think it’s remarkable that people are willing to respond to this tiny creature in a positive way.  By all accounts no one sabotaged the robots.  The artist began with an attempt to make interactive art and ended up unwrapping a little bit of the human condition.  This seems like the type of experiment that could be very revealing if done in a wide variety of cities across the world.  I wonder if people in certain places are more apt to help out than others.

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