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Robot K456

“Nam June Paik and Shuya Abe created one of the first art robots. Robot K456 with 20-Channel Radio Control and 10-Channel Data Recorder, 1965, was an
anthropomorphic automaton whose aluminium skeleton was fancifully decorated with a pair of sponge-rubber falsies, suggesting a gendered humanity.”[1]

“The robot was purpose-built for street actions, in which it was supposed to mingle – more or less inconspicuously – with bypassers, as Paik recounts: ‘I imagined it would meet people on the street and give them a split-second surprise. Like a sudden shower.'”[2]

“In 1971, on the occasion of Paik’s retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Robot K456, which by then had entered the museum’s collection, enacted a memorable work of performance art.Strolling down Madison Avenue before an eager audience, the robot was broadsided by a taxi-cab, a staged event Paik referred to as The First Accident of the 21st Century.”[1]

Robot K456


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[1] Edward A. Shanken, Art and Eelectronic Media, p.38