RoboStrippers: What Do They Mean?

The annual Consumer Electronics Show included an artistic installation of robot pole dancers. What was the point?

Plenty of observers have come up with meanings for the automated strippers.

Robots will take over all kinds of jobs — even the jobs of pole dancers in strip clubs.

Humans have moved so far from human contact that sex worker robots can take the place of intimate relationships.

Tech is such a sexist field that guys think it’s funny to have robot strippers.

All of these are believable.

But the robots are actually part of a 2010 art installation. The artist, Giles Walker, had something to say about the closed circuit surveillance cameras which were at that time becoming part of daily life in his native England. He built robot strippers with CCTV cameras as heads and called the installation “Peeping Toms,” the term being used to describe the myriad public surveillance cameras being put up all over Britain.

Within a year, there was one surveillance camera for every 32 Englishmen and women. Now there are some 6 million, one for every 10 human beings in the UK. That’s more surveillance than you can find in China. A typical tourist in a single day of sightseeing in England can expect to be snapped 300 times.

Giles Walker had some feelings about this, and he expressed those feelings in works of art.

Walker doesn’t mind renting his creations out, and a Vegas club took the opportunity to do some easy marketing at the show.

A statement about privacy, a clever sales pitch fr a strip club, or an inadvertent statement about society? That’s up to you.

Support and repair for your Rexroth electric motion control systems — that’s up to us. Call us first.


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