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Binational PhD Project

Title: Making Robots Domestic. A Queer Feminist Cartography of Anthropomatic Kitchen Robotics

In my cartography of current humanoid robotics I explore a relatively new branch of German robotics, namely anthropomatics. The focus of my field study is to ask how the anthropoid robot comes to matter as a prospective (service) agent for the domestic sphere, namely the household. I develop a posthumanist performative perspective, informed by the work of Karen Barad, through which I analyze this machine’s mattering. In line with this perspective, I firstly scrutinize regimes of intelligibility, which regulate what it means to be human/like as well as how humans and machines can relate. Secondly, I assemble the “matters of care” as Maria Puig de la Bellacasa puts it, in making such a humanoid robot model domestic.

I intend refraining from either thinking human and machine through determinist relations, such as the ‘human maker’ as origin of facts and artifacts, or antagonist explanations of how facts and artifacts come to matter that separates between ‘good robotics’ and ‘evil robotics’. Rather, and centrally also drawing on Lucy Suchman’s work, I analyze the making of this “subject object” as an enactment, which challenges the idea of pre-figured entities with (agential) properties. In this regard, I trace the ways in which entities with properties at the robot-practitioner interface are conditioned and enacted through the reciprocal relations of a human and nonhuman making in the robotic kitchen laboratory. Framing this enactment in terms of a performing the kitchen, I clearly associate my perspective with the feminist turn to ontology while I ask how we can re-conceptualize queer and feminist critique of technoscience through becoming accountable for relationalities of co-constitution between human/nonhuman, subject/object and natural/artificial. Finally, and in line with Donna Haraway, I suggest leverage points for a “queer re-worlding” that insists on the necessity of norm-critical, queer feminist interventions into making robots domestic.

Pat Treusch
Pat Treusch

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Last updated: Fri Jan 30 17:33:59 CET 2015