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August 2000, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Jud Wolfskill <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 8 Aug 2000 10:35:28 -0400
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I thought readers of this might be interested in this book.  For more
information please visit


The Robot in the Garden
Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet
edited by Ken Goldberg

The Robot in the Garden initiates a critical theory of telerobotics and
introduces telepistemology, the study of knowledge acquired at a distance.
Many of our most influential technologies, the telescope, telephone, and
television, were developed to provide knowledge at a distance. Telerobots,
remotely controlled robots, facilitate action at a distance. Specialists
use telerobots to explore actively environments such as Mars, the Titanic,
and Chernobyl. Military personnel increasingly employ reconnaissance drones
and telerobotic missiles. At home, we have remote controls for the garage
door, car alarm, and television (the latter a remote for the remote).

The Internet dramatically extends our scope and reach. Thousands of cameras
and robots are now accessible online. Although the role of technical
mediation has been of interest to philosophers since the seventeenth
century, the Internet forces a reconsideration. As the public gains access
to telerobotic instruments previously restricted to scientists and
soldiers, questions of mediation, knowledge, and trust take on new
significance for everyday life.

Telerobotics is a mode of representation. But representations can
misrepresent. If Orson Welles's "War of the Worlds" was the defining moment
for radio, what will be the defining moment for the Internet? As artists
have always been concerned with how representations provide us with
knowledge, the book also looks at telerobotics' potential as an artistic

The seventeen essays, by leading figures in philosophy, art, history, and
engineering, are organized into three sections: Philosophy; Art, History,
and Critical Theory; and Engineering, Interface, and System Design.

Ken Goldberg is Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering and founder
of the Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium at the University of
California, Berkeley. His Net art installations include "Dislocation of
Intimacy," "Memento Mori," and the "Telegarden."

7 x 9, 330 pp., 49 illus., cloth ISBN 0-262-07203-3
A Leonardo Book

     |       Jud Wolfskill
 |||||||     Associate Publicist                 Phone:  (617) 253-2079
 |||||||     MIT Press                           Fax:  (617) 253-1709
 |||||||     Five Cambridge Center               E-mail:  [log in to unmask]
      |      Cambridge, MA  02142-1493 

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