I applaud everyone and everything, no matter who or what. I am a Facebook »Like« made of steel. I clap – the more likes the better. I can, so I do. My materiality allows it. I can keep it up for a very long time. My relatives are working class and I don’t deny my background. Not that I even want to but still, digg ing about in the dirt is no longer my thing – that is the difference. I am now busy with quite different, unexpected things, like giving applause, for instance, because I know how to clap.
It is loud and still always sounds like a construction site. My appearance and sound keep up the illusion of hard work even though I have long since acquired quite different skills. I am the same size. I command respect. People might laugh at my welcome but they’re also afraid of me, not just because of my size but mainly because of the movements I might carry out. Fear of machines like us is already very old; the insurrection of things is forecast every once in a while and has been for centuries. I have a natural area of authority: the imagination of passers-by determines the distance they keep from me. If I extend my swivel arm out to the maximum, I have an operating radius of several metres.
Safety and distance are also important topics that make me proud of my roots. And here, I speak for all of us. At the moment we are only three, but in total we are many. We’re not those fashionable little robots with a childish designer look and rounded-off corners that try and hide that they’re doing work at all. The ones that meekly stop as soon as they get jammed between two chair legs while vacuuming, for instance, or mowing the lawn, and then pitifully peep.
»The cute object has power over its guardian. In this hyper-commodifi ed reality, we can’t escape the cute eye: it comes looking for us. Those stupid robot dogs, the goggle-eyed avatar of a VTuber, the wolf on the cornfl akes packet. Everywhere we simulate helpless creatures, like a reverse global form of pareidolia. But in this case, faces are not hallucinated into existence, but rather, the world is plastered with creatures that stare at us so that we don’t feel so lonely. We can’t escape cuteness.«
Rudi Nuss, Unwesen der Asche oder: von der niedlichen, toten Welt schreiben (Monstrosities of Ashes or: Writing about the Cute, Dead World) in: Kapsel Magazin 2021.
We are different in that regard. We do not respect objects or body parts that err into our range and try and stop us. We are robust by nature and not afraid of injury. Not like these plastic lovers who cannot even stand out in the rain.
I am not saying that we tear off people’s heads on purpose. After all, we don’t have the necessary anger for irrational acts. In the ambiguity of our concerns, there is a vibrating disquiet: is a machine species planning to detach itself from dependencies and classifi cations? In Pierre Bourdieu speak, we are social climbers who have already moved up from the function of our machine group. We are the godchildren of ready-mades and have emancipated ourselves from functional clarity. We perform. People even compare us to ballet dancers or families of storks that stand clattering their beaks in their nests.
What we talk about when we go into a huddle, no one knows.