Digital Media Concepts/Can't Help Myself Robot

What is it?


In 2016, two artists named, Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, created a robot out of stainless steel and rubber enclosed in acrylic walls. Surrounding the robot was a deep red liquid and the only job that this robot had was to attempt and keep the red liquid contained as much as possible. Attached to this robot were sensors that detected anytime the red liquid strayed too far and the arm on this robot would swing over from wherever it was to shovel the liquid back towards the robot to attempt to contain it. This robot is programmed to continuously sweep in at the red paint desperately trying to keep the mess contained. This piece was created to represent the overworked and robot-like human society that is today.

Reflection of Society


Today, humans are under an absurd amount of stress and pressure that many people struggle with on a day-to-day basis. They try to keep up with it but overtime it creates a mess on themselves and the world around them. People are held to a certain standard that does not allow for them to have much room for mistakes, which then overtime eventually eats away at a person.

Endless Labor


Society has become their own robots in their own lives. From the constant pressure and stress that comes from their everyday jobs and everyday lives, society encloses themselves to an unhealthy routine that does not allow for free-time or de-stressors. In February 2023, a survey was released asking American workers where most of their stress comes from. The results came out as 83% of workers suffer from work-related stress and 25% saying that their job was their biggest stressor in their lives. Just like the robot, society is programmed to their one job, a job that overcomes them.

Obsession and Repetitiveness


As much as this robot and society are both laborers to their everyday jobs, the constant repetitiveness can also become an obsession. The robot represents the society and how blind they are to what their jobs have made of them. Because of the constant sweeping and swinging around of the arm, the red liquid that is supposedly getting "cleaned" up is slowly overtime making a mess of it. But since the robot is programmed to do that one job, it overtime gives off an energy that it is obsessed with it to keep its area clean. Just like society, unhealthy relationships whether that being towards their job or other things going on in their lives, an obsession can overcome them and their own messes can be made.




2: Hypercritic :

3: University of Pennsylvania :,within%20the%20site%20of%20bloodshed.