Compressorhead: The robot band and its transmedia storyworld

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2016, 9549 pp. 175 - 189
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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016. Robot-human relationships are being developed and redefined due to the emerging cultural phenomenon of popular robot bands such as Compressorhead and Z-Machine. Our primary research interest in this paper is the ways in which robots relate to, interact with, and are perceived by humans - or in short, human-robot relationships. To this aim we have conducted a small-scale (multi- ‘species’) ethnography in which we were participant observers in the ongoing production of both the ‘onstage’ and ‘offstage’ transmedia storyworld of the allrobot band, Compressorhead. We use Henry Jenkins’s (2004, 2006, 2008) concept of ‘transmedia storytelling’ as a way of understanding how a storyworld that includes extensive human-robot interaction is simultaneously created by both humans and robots across multiple communication media platforms. In so doing, we argue that robots can indeed be seen as musicians, performers, and even celebrities, and therefore can be taken seriously as producers of culture.
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