Goatnet (2023)

participative performance with humans and robotic goat

supported by Benjamin Maus, engineer (Berlin), Tim Huys, programmer (Hamburg), Matthias Pitscher, programmer (Vienna)


Goat Hike is a live, participatory outdoor experience that combines elements of open discussion, performance, and concert. Participants will enjoy a cozy hiking adventure over hills, dales, and through the city on a day or half-day tour led by a robotic goat and its shepherd. The enthusiastic robotic goat will carry your data as it roams, and the route will be tailored to your physical condition. After an introduction to the goat and its unique character, the hiking adventure begins through both urban and rural areas. During the hike, the friendly goat eagerly receives your data and input to start a conversation, and you’ll have the opportunity to take a long break on an alpine meadow to have a further talk with the goat. Depending on your condition, the route can be adjusted, allowing ample time to enjoy hiking with the goat and experiencing the goat’s ability to record data and create output through special goat filters. It’s a completely new way to experience hiking.

The robotic goat connect a small group of people and their data with a robot that records all the surrounding data. This data is filtered through parameters corresponding to goat characteristics and transformed into a temporary artistic product in collaboration with the people and the environment. The goats performs a kind of data mining, consuming all the surrounding data and processing it in a goat-typical way or using criteria that correspond to goat characteristics. Information is collected from various sources, such as GPS data from phones, social media input, ambient noise, and conversations. At certain moments during the tour, the processed material is presented to the participants, either during an initiated picnic or at random moments, generating new material for further cooperation until the end of the tour. To collect as much different data as possible, the routes should explore diverse environments.


quadruped robot, 3D print, speaker, microphone, smartphone, raspberry, chatgpt


presented at FMR festival Linz, Kunstverein Siegen, Kunstwerkstatt Monheim am Rhein

Like the internet, GOATNET is a collective hallucination. lt comprises independent efforts unified by common technological protocols to appear as a seamless, magical whole. This vision draws inspiration from pastoral literature and art, which imagined the life of shepherds in Arcadia during the golden age. These shepherds were believed to be divinely inspired in poetry by the Muses, Apollo, Hermes, and Pan. Tue absence of central control, long celebrated as an instrument of grassroots democracy and freedom, is a defining feature of GOATNET. This absence makes it challenging to monitor, but it also strives to make complicated issues more accessible.

© Christina Köhler 2023