Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Obama, Jay Leno and Robot HRP-4C

Think about robots.  The old-fashioned image of robots conjures up squareness, flashing lights, perhaps an incomprehensible sound.  A mechanical automaton, moving on its own accord, perhaps a bit unpredictable.  A certain menace, or, a comedic aura surrounds the idea of robots-of-old.

Now.  Think about banks.  The old-fashioned image of banks brings forth a sturdy imposing building, men in suits, a kind of properness, reliability and authority.  This image is almost gone.  It is hard to recall because that kind of nostalgia has been erased by current events.

Robots have advanced tremendously since inception.  A new image of robots is evolving in the cultural psyche.  This re-mythologizing process is also underway with the concept of banks. Below is a robot design quite unanticipated by the collective imagination.  Even with consideration of all the models of robot-ness the culture has brought forth, the robot shown here on the BBC website catches one by surprise. And so, it is with Banks.  Expectations are changed.  With regard to the latest robot, known as HRP-4C , an unease and distrust is softened by its feminine features.

Reshaping the cultural palatability of banks and financial instututions is a very tough proposition.  Obama is soon stepping into the cultural myth-making world of television to give his best effort on the Jay Leno show, but, it is going to take much much more than that.  

Japan has produced an amazing array of humourous and odd cultural artifacts since their economic crisis.  The angst has transmogrified into a creativity unique to the country.  If America can do the same with its displeasure, it will be something to look forward to. 

No comments: