in Projects, Teaching

Anthrobot — A Human Robot Dance Performance

In collaboration with the artist collective DIPHTHONG, students of KISD took part in the production of a dance performance for two dancers and a robot. Under the direction of Laura Wagner and supported by myself, they designed and programmed the movement sequences of an industrial robot for the performance and also co-produced the soundtrack for the piece.

The piece ANTHROBOT will be performed December 1-3, 2023 at Kölner Kunsthafen.


Robots are the future, they exist in the science fiction worlds of books, films and games. But even today, it is impossible to imagine industry and medical technology without them. They are also increasingly finding their way into our everyday lives: Vacuum robots, cloud-based voice services and care robots are widespread. It is up to us to find a way of dealing with them. What will these robots mean to us, who will we be, and how will we live with them across generations?

The artist collective DIPHTHONG explores these questions in their dance piece ANTHROBOT. Viewers are invited to enter the shared flat of two human flatmates from two generations (aged 12 and 75) and a robot. It is an independently accessible and discoverable world in which you can move freely and watch the three protagonists come together. The robot has a life of its own: it can move, react to impulses and produce impulses itself. It will be interesting to see how two different people interact with it, work with it, use it, play with it, laugh and dance with it. Will the robot be able to separate, connect or perhaps even mediate the human relationship?

About Oden, the UR3e robot arm: Since the beginning of this year, Oden, a collaborative industrial robot from Universal Robots, has been part of the inventory of KISD’s AI Lab, the laboratory of living objects. It has six joints that allow it to stretch 50 cm and lift 3 kg. It offers students the opportunity to research and develop forms of human-machine interaction. This semester, in the ANTHROBOT project, students are collaborating with the theater collective DIPHTHONG to develop a play in which intergenerational relationship to technology is reflected upon.

KISD students: Alina Bertacca, Carlos Andres Luis Strohm, Diana Guadalupe Espino Flores, Ema Imbrasaite, Eduarda Marisa Lima Cerqueira, Johannes Hermut Förster, Karla Ćorluka, Lena Renz, Lilith Greta Meyer, Pedro dos Santos Palavra, Philipp Gatzke, Tyanka Demyanka Adrian

Production: e.V

Collaboration: Köln International School of Design/Technische Hochschule Köln

Choreography: DIPHTHONG Stephanie Felber & Nikos Konstantakis

Dancers: Sônia Mota, Olivia Arcacia

Robot programming: KISD students, Laura Juliane Wagner & Prof. Dr. Lasse Scherffig

Outside Eye: Carla Jordão 

Stage and costumes: Eleonora Pedretti 

Technical direction: Daniel Swoboda 

Audio descriptions: Martin Burike 

Graphic design: Leonard von Brenndorff 

Production manager: Stephanie Felber 

Production assistant: Silke Manz 

Press: Ines Langel 

Photography: Alessandro De Matteis

Supported by: Kulturamt der Stadt Köln, Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, RheinEnergieStiftung Kultur, Transferfonds der TH Köln