StoryRooms at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

Ken Goldberg
& the Alpha Lab

Dislocation of Intimacy



Dislocation of Intimacy is a net-based installation that explores the delicate relationship between the immediate and the mediated. The installation consists of a sealed black wooden box in the gallery plugged into the wall socket that is only accessible via the Internet. On the computer screen, the viewer then activates remotely a tele-robotic interface in the box by selecting from among five lights, clicks the button, and receives a surrealist and mysterious image of light and shadow, which arrives at the user's screen in grey-scale and without content.

"Dislocation of Intimacy stays at the opposite of the current trends in web design: no flashy images, no Java applets, no little animations all over the pages. What keeps us returning again and again to the Dislocation of Intimacy are its aesthetic qualities and relations to philosophy and art history. We cannot but think of Plato and the Cave. Ken Goldberg demonstrates here that the shadows are as important, if not more than the objects. This strengthens a connection with the 20th Century achievement of the disappearance of the objects in art...The images from the Dislocation of Intimacy reintroduce contemplation in a media where flow and movement are the common attitude. They not only freeze light but also time in a fragile balance... your computer screen has become pure light, a shadow.''



Background information

Ken Goldberg is an artist and professor of engineering at UC Berkeley. His work has been exhibited at the Walker Art Center, Ars Electronica (Linz Austria), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Venice Biennale, Pompidou Center (Paris), ICC Biennale (Tokyo), Kwangju Biennale (Seoul), Artists Space, The Kitchen, and the Whitney Biennial. He has also held visiting positions at MIT Media Lab, Art Center College of Design, and the San Francisco Art Institute. He is editor of The Robot in the Garden: Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet (MIT Press, 2000). Goldberg was awarded the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award in 1994, the NSF Presidential Faculty Fellowship in 1995, the Joseph Engelberger Robotics Award in 2000, the IEEE Major Educational Innovation Award in 2001 and named IEEE Fellow in 2005. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, filmmaker and Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain, and daughter Odessa.


Susan Collins
Paul Demarinis
Ken Goldberg
Paul Sermon
Cornelia Sollfrank
Tan Teck Weng
Andrea Zapp