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.
Carme Torras herself, what is more, would be conducting a scientific experiment throughout the festival, in collaboration with a humanoid robot that will be interacting with any attendees who so wish, according to the following instructions: “Thanks to the 42 Festival and the Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial (CSIC-UPC) you’ll be able to not just see a human-size robot in action but also enjoy its company for a while. You will be taking part in a research activity and helping to train the robotic assistants which, in future, will be helping you to stay active and independent and improving your quality of life”. Everyone attending the festival who so wishes will be able to sign up directly to this experiment being held next to the “Robot dreams” exhibition. Get involved!