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Cultural Insurrection as Art: Institute for Applied Autonomy Lectures at SUNY New Paltz

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09/23/2003

NEW PALTZ -- The Institute for Applied Autonomy will present a lecture about their projects and mission at 7:30 p.m. on September 24 at SUNY New Paltz. I.A.A was founded in 1998 as a technological research and development organization dedicated to individual and collective self-determination. Its mission is to study the forces and structures that effect self-determination, and to develop technologies that extend the autonomy of human activists.

For example, their initiative known as Contestational Robotics inverts the traditional relationship between robots and authoritarian power structures by meeting the needs and budgets of resistant forces. Contestational Robotics has several components.

GraffitiWriter is a tele-operated robot that employs a custom built array of spray cans to write linear text messages on the ground at a rate of 10 miles per hour. GraffitiWriter's aesthetics are purely mechanical; its messages are similar in form to dot matrix printer output, and are not intended to imitate human graffiti.

Pamphleteer, also known as "Little Brother," is a propaganda robot that distributes subversive literature. Pamphleteer is designed to bypass the social conditioning that inhibits activists' ability to distribute propaganda by capitalizing on the aesthetics of cuteness.

Rogues Gallery transforms public space into critical sites for free speech and public discourse, and simultaneously changes ordinary citizens into petty criminals.

StreetWriter is a custom built, computer controlled industrial spray-painting unit that is built into an extended body cargo van. The vehicle prints text messages onto the pavement in a manner much like a dot-matrix printer. The expanded width of StreetWriter allows for messages and simple graphics that are legible from tall buildings and low flying aircraft and is capable of rendering messages that are several hundreds of feet in length.

The lecture, which is free of charge and open to the public, will be held on Wednesday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Lecture Center 102. For further information call 845-257-3872.

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