In 2013, the New Museum presented “A Little About Me: Four Works by Robot,” a collaboration between artists John Miller and Takuji Kogo. Presented as a YouTube playlist, the four works included Swedish Gentleman
(2006), A Little About Me
(2010), Look 49 (2012), and the premiere of Hi Linda
(2013). Each video is set to an original score and features text appropriated from personal ads overlaid onto moving image collages. While short and visually spare, each video is rendered psychologically dense through the interplay of text with associative images and sound.
As a series, the Robot videos investigate the ways in which individuals market themselves and their romantic desires within a visual culture where raw emotions have come to hold a strong currency. In Swedish Gentleman
, a doleful electronic voice sings about the search for a commodified love interest over a looped video of a quaint, small-town Scandinavian scene. In A Little About Me
, a timid and whimsical love-seeker who “thrives on feelings of magic” is represented as a cut-out image of a girl layered over a panoramic pan of a parking lot. Look 49
unfolds in a boundless black environment dotted with white lawn chairs as a narrator sings of his interest in “japanese, foreign women. black also welcome,” and Hi Linda
offers a rendition of a modern-day love letter in which subtlety has been replaced by TMI.1
Established in 2012 and co-organized by the New Museum and Rhizome, First Look is a digital art commissioning and exhibition program representing the breadth of art online—from interactive documentary, to custom-built participatory applications, to moving image-based works, and art for mobile VR. Encompassing a substantial array of work that continues to expand, First Look explores the formal, social, and aesthetic possibilities of emerging technologies on the web.
In 2018, the site was archived by the New Museum Archives using Rhizome’s Webrecorder tool. The archived copy may be viewed via Webrecorder.io, here: https://webrecorder.io/NewMuseumArchive/first-look-a-little-about-me-four-works-by-robot-john-miller-and-takuji-kogo/