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Related: computer - cyber - human - Kraftwerk - machine - mechanical - Kraftwerk - Pygmalion - techno - Universal Robot Band

In literature: The Sandman (1817) - Frankenstein (1818) - Ranxerox in New York (1982)

At the turn of the eighteenth century, literary responses to robots began to reflect fears that humans would be replaced by their own creations. Hoffmann's writing in The Sandman was a bridge, along with works like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, to the nineteenth century German preoccupation with romanticism and the grotesque. --http://archives.digitalperformance.org/archives/winter2004/Sandman.htm

In the visual arts: Hajime Sorayama

Illustration by Hajime Sorayama

Canard de Vaucanson, 1738-1739
Jacques de Vaucanson (1709 - 1782) was a French engineer and inventor who is credited with creating the world's first true robots, as well as for creating the first completely automated loom.

Robots and automatons

An automaton (plural: automata) is a self-operating machine. The word is sometimes used to describe a robot, more specifically an autonomous robot. Used colloquially, it refers to a mindless follower. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automaton [Nov 2006]

The idea of artificial people

The idea of artificial people dates at least as far back as the ancient legend of Cadmus, who sowed dragon teeth that turned into soldiers, and the myth of Pygmalion, whose statue of Galatea came to life. In Greek mythology, the deformed god of metalwork (Vulcan or Hephaestus) created mechanical servants, ranging from intelligent, golden handmaidens to more utilitarian three-legged tables that could move about under their own power. Jewish legend tells of the Golem, a clay statue animated by Kabbalistic magic. Similarly, in the Younger Edda, Norse mythology tells of a clay giant, Mökkurkálfi or Mistcalf, constructed to aid the troll Hrungnir in a duel with Thor, the God of Thunder. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robot#History [Nov 2006]

Robots and modernism

Pinocchio's Progeny: Puppets, Marionettes, Automatons, and Robots in Modernist and Avant-Garde Drama (1995) - Harold B. Segel
[FR] [DE] [UK]

"While Carlo Collodi's internationally revered Pinocchio may not have been the single source of the modernist fascination with puppets and marionettes, the book's appearance on the threshold of the modernist movement heralded a new artistic interest in the making of human likenesses."

It has been said that Carolo Lorenzini's Pinocchio (1881 - 1883) was one of the inspiring themes of Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author. As in the allegory of the story, Pinocchio eventually went on to lead his own independent life, distinct from that of the author.

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