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Arnolfini - est 1961

Codemanipulator, Chris Cunningham, Michael Anastassiades and Dunne & Raby, Natalie Jeremijenko, Kahve Society, Alex McLean, Philippe Parreno, Unmask Group

Exhibition design in collaboration with nOffice

Supertoys makes reference to Brian Aldiss’s short story Super-Toys Last All Summer Long. As in the story, in which an android boy thinks he is real and is programmed to love his adoptive mother, playing with toys expresses the complex interrelations between humans and objects or machines, reality and fantasy, what it means to care for something and our inability to love. In many ways toys appear to play with us. Throughout the Supertoys season, artists, technologists, children and adults examine how toys operate as ‘transitional objects’ in allowing feelings to be carried between the human subject and external objects. Supertoys also explores the idea of reciprocal relationships with intelligent toys and robots, and our related hopes and fears.

The exhibition is part factory, part zoo and part play area. It will include opportunities for visitors to destroy, examine and re-make toys. Some works will develop during the exhibition as teams of robot experts and artists work to modify toy dogs. There will also be visits by guest robots, and opportunities for discussion and debate. In the lead up to Christmas (and after), Supertoys explores a new way of thinking about toys.

The exhibition is accompanied by a film season, online project and series of events and activities. See events and film listings for more details.

Supertoys is the third in the Concept Store series of projects at Arnolfini, exploring the realms of marketing, design and experience economy.

With support from the University of the West of England and Science City Bristol