Difference-in-relation: Diffracting human-robot encounters


  • Petra Gemeinboeck




Human-robot interaction; Diffraction; Reflection; Performative practice; Entanglement; Transcorporeality; Performance.


This article adopts Donna Haraway’s (1992) and Karen Barad’s (2007) lenses of reflection and diffraction to probe into human-robot relationships in-the-making. Dominant practices of human-robot interaction aspire to an optics of reflection based on the belief that the differences inherent to machines need masking or assimilating. I propose that diffracting human-robot encounters requires becoming-with and co-worlding with artefacts and their asymmetries. Entering the robot lab to witness my collaborative Machine Movement Lab project and its diffractive strategies in-the-making, as well as the material-bodily knowledges they enact, offers situated insights into how they make tangible difference patterns and relational ontologies at work in our more-than-human encounters.


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