©Wonbin Yang

16th Art Division New Face Award

Species series

Media installation

YANG Wonbin [South Korea]


Species series is an art project that creates a series of autonomous robots as new species undergoing birth, life and death in the urban environment. The project investigates how these artificial life forms reclaim the cities as their habitats, use urban facilities for their purposes, and develop survival strategies to live in the man-made surroundings. Biological and zoological concepts merge into robotics to metaphorically conceive these artificial agents as life forms. The project traces the robots’ everyday life in various territories. Collected data contains the robotic species’ histories of emergence, adaptation, and evolution.

Reason for Award

This work is first notable for its refreshing attempt to completely overturn the typical notion of an anthropomorphized robot. Garbage made out of newspapers and paper bags, as well as minutely-detailed artificial creatures that resemble insects, are equipped by science and technology with the gift of movement and flashing lights, then unleashed on a crowded city. But as they fail to attract much attention, they are naturally run over by cars, stepped on, or knocked from their moorings. The work is distinguished by an intrepid and humorous spirit as the artist witnesses the death of this new species of robots that he has created. I look forward to the day when these artificial creatures will evolve further and, based on the accumulation and analysis of ecological data, acquire even more advanced survival strategies.