Device-art 4.012, the fourth edition of KONTEJNER’s international robotics, gadgets and devices festival, is the main culprit behind this new creative collision of weird, bizarre, witty and provocative techno-artistic concepts, this time located in the premises of Zagreb’s Student Centre. After three successful Device_art triennials, back in 2004 and an initial sussing out of the potential of a regional device-art scene, after engagement with the fantastic trans-oceanic hotspot of new technological art − San Francisco − and after our recent Far Eastern adventure, during which KONTEJNER visited another source of device art, Japan, the new edition of the festival returns to the European continent to explore perhaps the most cultish figure of SF pop culture and the overall creative science and technological scene, the figure of the robot.
Where is one to find out about the beginnings of robotic devices, at what place can one discover how they have developed and changed over the course of time and what is happening with them today? Since one of the ∫rst associations with the word robot is for many people with Karel Čapek and his Czech homeland, KONTEJNER decided to go back to the roots and to cast an eye on what is being offered by the contemporary Czech art scene dedicated to new technologies. Since the Czech device scene is dynamic, interesting, fun-filled and vivacious, KONTEJNER is going to shift a little bit of this exciting technostory to Zagreb, presenting it as part of the Device_art project through an exhibition, robotic concerts and musical performances, workshops for hacking food and electronic devices, a film programme, a roundtable and this festival publication. As well as our Czech guests, this year’s Device_art is showing again (traditionally by now) the latest sci-tech artistic productions from local ground, while guests from Slovenia and Serbia together with Croatian artists round off the logic of the basic comparative approach that during the fourth Device_art will build a bridge between Bohemian science-technology artistic practice and its coevals from this area.