2022 Edition: November 2 to 6
ROBOT DREAMS: 100 YEARS OF IMAGINING ARTIFICIAL BEINGS
What do we find so attractive about robots? This year marks the centenary of Karel Čapek’s creation of the word robot (‘forced labour’) in his play R.U.R., but the idea existed even before the word came into being: in stories about automata, about statues coming to life - stories that officially lacked robots, but had them in reality. What atavistic fears govern us from within? Which works gave birth to them, and who were their authors? Festival 42 is fortunate to have an exhibition on literary robots, created for the event, with texts by the science-fiction specialists Sergi Viciana and Susana Vallejo, along with spectacular drawings by graphic artist Albert Monteys. One of the main attractions of the festival, in form and content, where visitors will be able to see such emblematic figures as Mazinger Z, and revisit others that the festival holds dear, such as Marvin, created by Douglas Adams, while also taking a look at other more recent examples, such as Ted Chiang’s digients for the first time. And all of this accompanied by the inaugural round table, with the creators of the exhibition and Carme Torras, the top specialist on the subject and a leading writer.
Albert Monteys is a creator of strip cartoons and graphic humour. In addition to his work at the satirical magazine El Jueves and the online Orgullo y satisfacción, he has published comics such as the digital Universe!, an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, and the new Calavera lunar (Moon Skull). He also drew the figures for the exhibition Robot dreams.
Carme Torras holds a PhD in computer science, is a research professor at the Institute of Robotics (CSIC-UPC) and a writer. Her works La mutació sentimental (The Vestigial Heart), Enxarxats and Estimades màquines address ethical dilemmas raised by artificial intelligence and social robotics.
Susana Vallejo is the author of science fiction books such as Switch in the Red and fantasy books such as L’esperit de l’últim estiu. Co-creator of the podcast Vicio y subcultura, she has just participated in the anthology Barcelona 2059, and has curated the Robot dreams exhibition for Festival 42.
Sergi Viciana is a professor, historian and literary theorist specialising in popular genres. He runs the website Fantífica, and is co-creator of the podcast Vicio y subcultura. He has curated the Robot dreams exhibit for Festival 42.