Diary #15

TSIM SHA TSUI, HONG KONG, 1991 — A group of HKAPA students and I went to Tsim Sha Tsui, down at the tip of Kowloon, to visit WowWee Robotics and charismatic robot designer-developer Mark Tilden. Tilden’s an amazing guy, right at the nexus of robotics technology and the toy industry. He loves the Hong Kong toy manufacturing industry and their ability to do pretty much anything he can dream up really fast and in staggering quantities. And he prides himself on making hacker-friendly toys that, once you open them up, have all the points you’d want to reprogram / rewire them as you desire.

Anyway, after our tour was over we rode the elevator down to the lobby of the office tower, where my fellow choreography student Burt Payne got a couple of guys to do this very temporary “urban intervention” with him and I snapped this picture. He was always doing stuff like this. Kind of like a flashmob without the mob. I wish I’d hung out with Burt more, he had such a great sense of art and dance and body movement and urban space and public experience and invitations to reconsider space and reconsider our trajectory through our day.

And stuff like that.

In the lobby of WowWee Robotics in Tsim Tsa Tsui, Hong Kong, Burt Payne and 2 other guys become "wall decorations" by wedging their bodies between a stair handrail and a wall

THE HAGUE, 2012 — It’s funny, flickr is so much better than Facebook for photos. And 500px is probably a nicer platform that flickr. Yet flickr is much bigger than 500px, and of course, Facebook is the #1 photo-sharing site in the world. I think Tilden’s idea, besides probably making a fortune selling toys, is that the way to bring robots and robotics into the world isn’t with small numbers of expensive robots, but with huge numbers of really low cost robots. Kind of the Facebookification of robotics perhaps.

PS: Tsim Sha Tsui means pointed sandy mouth.

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Categories: Diary

Author:Vanessa Anne Blaylock

As a Virtual Public Artist my work invites virtual communities to express their identity, explore their culture, and demand their civil rights.
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