The Art of Bots / Intro

Over recent years tiny automated and nonsensical beings have infiltrated our daily life via twitter and email. They have taken delight in agitation by imitating human behaviours – from telling jokes to online-dating. These small computer programmes are called bots (derived from the word robot) and their repetitive and often simple actions have brought fun to – and often poked fun at – the Internet platforms that now mediate our lives.

This weekend of workshops, labs and bot showcases will be a chance to meet pioneers of the bot making community, gain an insight into their practices and also uncover the darker side of these computer programmes.  Bot creators come in many different guises and our weekend will feature artists, whistleblowers, developers, gamers, comedians, thinkers and inventors from this global micro-community.

In the showcase discover more about bot behaviours and their creative potential plus how these are connected to histories in automata and movements such as Dada and Fluxus. It will be a unique opportunity to get hands-on with bot inventions and prototypes as they are being created.

Talks and presentations will take the form of the Disruption Network Lab: Bots curated by Tatiana Bazzichelli. This is an ongoing platform of events where artists, hackers, networkers, whistleblowers and critical thinkers enter into a dialogue. This keynote and panel discussion will consider and interrogate the political and artistic potential emerging from the relationship between surveillance and the use of bots. Alongside the weekend of events we will release a programme of bot works online.

Join Abandon Normal Devices for a free weekend of bot inspired performance, workshops, debates and events. Discover how computers are getting better at thinking like us and how they are exposing the cracks in the inner workings of the internet.

The programme is co-curated with Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, a British-Colombian artist based in London known for 3D printed sculpture, bots and the popular blog Algopop.

BotCave_1 BotCave_4 BotCave_2Images from ‘Botcave Workshop’ with Matthew Plummer Fernandez, ÉCAL, Lausanne, 2014


Events Details:

Friday 15 April: 12.00-20.00 (last admission 19.30)
Saturday 16 April: 10.00-18.00 (last admission 17.30)

The Art of Bots will take place in the River Rooms situated in the New Wing of Somerset House (London, UK).To access the River Rooms please use the River Terrace entrance. You can arrange step free access by contacting the Visitor Services team on or +44 (0)20 7845 4600.

For information on and directions to Somerset House, you can visit our dedicated venue page.

Please see the Disruption Network Lab: Bots page to find the location and directions for this specific event.



The Art of Bots is delivered in partnership with Somerset House and media partner Furtherfield. It is realised in the framework of Masters & Servers, a joint project by Aksioma (SI), Drugo more (HR), Abandon Normal Devices (UK), Link Art Center (IT) and d-i-n-a / The Influencers (ES). 

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Venue partner:                                          

SH AtSomersetHouse_Logo_black large

Media partner:

furtherfield edit

Part of and with support of:                 


Funded by:


Event info:

Useful links