This robot has no function in the traditional sense. It does not serve us; it probably will not enslave us (perhaps only our imagination). Instead, this robot is programmed to run. To run immediately, with nervous electric heartbeat, in the opposite direction as soon as it senses the presence of a human being.

Shyness is considered a trait unique to the human condition — no animals, let alone machines, can be ever be shy. The story goes that shyness is a reflection of our self-consciousness, of our uncertainty about who we are in relationship to a world made up of other uncertain beings. As humans we arecondemned to be free: there are no moral supports, no justifications, and no algorithms on which we can base our decisions. We must make and remake our significance within that world, constantly and from moment to moment.

The ShyBot, equipped with a camera, transmits to The Lab a live stream of its point-of-view – a view based on an algorithm designed precisely to evade the human perspective. This is Norma Jeane’s fantasy of the desert sublime: the machine is let loose in the landscape, free of the human determinism that thus far framed its existence, and we, in turn, are free to imagine a world liberated from the indeterminacy of us.

ShyBot is to be released in Coachella Valley Feb.25th, 2017 for the inaugural exhibition of Desert X biennial of art.

Desert X is a site-specific show that will take place in the spring of 2017. Artists from different parts of the world will be invited to make work that responds to the unique conditions of Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley.

The desert of Desert X is the blank canvas upon which contemporary artists - like the writers, architects, musicians and other before them – will be invited to project their vision and to create of the extraordinary natural and social history around them objects and experiences that reflect upon the matchless spectacle of the geologic epic, the radical abstraction of the surroundings and the singular incursions of man into the seemingly barren landscape. Unique in that it takes the landscape itself as its exhibition space, Desert X will offer the opportunity to explore both the familiar and the unknown through the eyes of others.

If the desert is indeed God without man, then Desert X is art without constraint. 

The Making of the ShyBot...

Our first Test Run of the ShyBot vs. DroneBot from CODAME on Vimeo.

Seen At:

Maker Faire

Scene with ShyBot

Desert X


Norma Jeane


Bruno Fonzi

Eric Hanson

Ben Lerchin

Donald Hanson