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First of all, we are very happy to present the first exhibition of Wanda Tuerlinckx, a Belgian photographer based in Amsterdam, who has created a fascinating series on ‘Androids’. Since 2015 and in collaboration with Prof. Erwin R. Boer, professor of Cognitive Robotics at Delft University of Technology, Tuerlinckx has traveled the world, mostly to Japan, to document the current robot revolution.

Today’s advancing technology gives us, for the first time in history, the opportunity to give a physical and perhaps even a spiritual shape to our inexhaustible imagination. Until recently, we were only able to create Humanoids, a human-shaped robot. Since Humanoids do not give us the sense of human identity, they are fairly quickly accepted in our society. However, the Android robots, that look like humans with human emotional facial expressions and movements, are sometimes fascinating but also terrifying as subtle imperfections in appearance make them seem eerie. Japanese robotics professor Masahiro Mori described this phenomenon in 1970 as “Uncanny Valley”. As the continuously accelerating technological developments continue to anticipate the ethical and social implications of robots in our society, we live with an increasing inner tension between acceptance and rejection.

Tuerlinckx’s android photos combine art photography and scientific photography. She has been photographing robots using a very classic form of photography. Her wooden camera, which she calls Eduard, dates from around 1880. She uses photo paper as a negative, a technique from the earliest days of photography, developed by British photographer William Fox Talbot. By recording the unfolding robot revolution with a camera from the time of the industrial revolution, Tuerlinckx brings the past, present and future together in one image.