Der Roboter Arm wurde 2016 während der 58. Internationalen Kunstausstellung in Venedig präsentiert. Die Installation von Sun Yuan und Peng Yu ist darauf programmiert die rötlich ölige Flüssigkeit, an manchen Stellen steht es sei Hydrauliköl, zusammen zu moppen. Um nicht zu verbluten. Über die Jahre entstanden Abnutzungserscheinungen, der Roboterarm wurde langsamer, hielt die Flüssigkeit kaum noch beisammen und quittierte schließlich den Dienst. Die verschiedenen Videos dokumentieren den Zustand ziemlich gut.

Die Installation spaltet die Gemüter. Die einen fühlen mit dem Roboterarm, andere können keinerlei Mitgefühl nachvollziehen. Musiker Kricked hat auf seinem Instagram Kanal einen Kommentar dazu verfasst, den ich unfassbar anrührend finde.

No piece of art has ever emotionally affected me the way this robot arm piece has. It’s programmed to try to contain the hydraulic fluid that’s constantly leaking out and required to keep itself running…if too much escapes, it will die so it’s desperately trying to pull it back to continue to fight for another day. Saddest part is they gave the robot the ability to do ‚happy dances‘ for spectators while the spill was contained. When the project was first launched it danced around spending most of its time interacting with the crowd since it could quickly pull back the small spillage. Many years later… (as you see it now in the video) it looks worn down and hopeless…Because the amount of leaked fluid became unmanageable as the spill grew over time, there now isn’t enough time to dance as it only has enough time to try to keep itself alive. Living its last days in a never-ending cycle between sustaining life and simultaneously bleeding out… (Figuratively and literally as its hydraulic fluid looks like it’s actual blood)

The arm slowly came to a halt and died in 2019, but with a twist – the bot, called a kuka servo, actually runs off of electricity, not hydraulics, so it was working its entire life towards something it didn’t even need, tricked by the system it was brought into. So now I’m crying over a robot 😭 programmed to live out this fate and no matter how hard it tried, there was no escaping it & spectators watched as it worked itself to death. Saying that ‚this resonates‘ doesn’t even do it justice imo. Created by Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, named, ‚Can’t Help Myself‘. What a masterpiece. What a message.