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Hardcover | $62.50 Short | £43.95 | ISBN: 9780262072038 | 330 pp. | 7 x 9 in | March 2000
 
Paperback | $27.00 Trade | £18.95 | ISBN: 9780262571548 | 330 pp. | 7 x 9 in | August 2001
 

"“University Presses in Space” showcases a special sampling of the many works that university presses have published about space and space exploration."

The Robot in the Garden

Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet
Edited by Ken Goldberg

Overview

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 medium.

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.

About the Editor

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."

Endorsements

"The Robot in the Garden brings together some of the most profound thinkerscurrently writing about such issues as telepresence, internet art, and the statusof the real in a virtual age. Moreover, they frequently disagree with oneanother, an indication of the intellectual vitality of this work. Ken Goldberg'sdiscussion of his pioneering work with robotic art sets the high standard thatother distinguished contributors carry on, from Martin Jay to Eduardo Kac, LevManovich to Albert Borgmann. Don't miss out on this important collection."
N. Katherine Hayles, Professor of English, University of California, Los Angeles