robotcowboy: cabled madness | news

robotcowboy 2.0

robotcowboy 2.0 alpha demo at 319 Scholes arthackday, Jan 2012

robotcowboy began as a platform for musical performance with wearable computers and an exploration into embodiment and energy with technology. It is not a single musical act, but an ongoing experiment in what I term “Human-Computer Performance”:

As the next phase of the project begins with version 2.0, I am summing up my motivations and plans for the future here.

robotcowboy is dead. Long live robotcowboy.


robot film festival

robotcowboy made a semi-surprise appearance at the first annual Robot Film Festival in New York City last week. I popped out from behind the screen at the end of the “Robots in Rhythm” segment and did a short set. Later that evening, we saw the awarding of the first Robot Oscars: “Botskers” to films of various categories.

Thanks to Heather Knight and Marek Michalowski for inviting me.

See articles on the event from:

tv heads and musical cyborgs

The iconic robotcowboy helmet is nothing new to our visual landscape. I do not claim ownership of the “tv head” or the “cyborg musican” nor do I discourage others from “copying” me … we all share ideas and grow stronger overall as a result.

With that spirit in mind, I’m looking to collect a list of other “other robotcowboys”, examples which share the same visual and conceptual language as the robotcowboy project.

Here is compilation thus far. Please add any others you may find to the comments.


The Tartan

robotcowboy in The TartanCarnegie Mellon‘s student newspaper:

I squinted my eyes and saw what appeared to be an android bearing an anthracite guitar and a glowing red 2001 iMac monitor on his head. He said no words; rather, he tilted his head, and white buzzing squares on the screen began to race. Slowly he spit out two CDs from his palms and handed them to me. radio interview

I was interviewed along with 3 other Pittsburgh based artist/musicians (Luke Loeffler, Roger Dannenberg, Michael Johnsen) by Jeremy Woodruff for the monthly Lautstrom show on 88.3 in Berlin, Germany. We discussed a few aspects of the robotcowboy project.

World Maker Faire NYC

I will be showing robotcowboy at the World Maker Faire in the New York Hall of Science along with many other “Makers” on September 25-26.

Maker Faire is an event created by Make Magazine to “celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset.”

Basically, it sounds like a county faire full of mad scientists from the future showing their inventions. I will be hopefully doing small demonstrations and performances during the whole weekend. Maybe we’ll see a few more robotcowboys after this?

See me at Maker Faire!

Radio Interview in Geneva

I was interviewed by the Geneva radio station Frequency Bananae during the Mapping Festival in May:

Mapping Festival Interview, May 12 2010

Translation from the original page (from French):

For this, a remedy: Dan Wilcox and his project “Robot Cowboy” ( that frequency Banana also met earlier in the evening. A project where the computer totally insane, the focus of electronic music, is diverted from its original use. How could you not have thought rained earlier? Strum on the keyboard does not seem enough, just put a color monitor on his head and go crazy for one hour in the cinema of Sputnik. Guitar, joystick, and even futuristic part of the well. To see and hear absolutely. The concept is non-standard.

And my favorite translated quote:

The night will prove so eventful, totally separate aspects. Met nice people and good-natured mood. Not be remembered perhaps not on the side clubbing dances but the performance made up for it and what size Teletubbie Dan Wilcox dazzle.

Ars Electronica Festival 2009

This is a post 2 months overdue …

robotcowboy performed 3 times during the Ars Electronica Festival 2009:

Fri, Sep 4th: at the Brucknerhaus representing the Ars Futurelab during the v2: test_lab presentation

Sat, Sep 5th: at Roter Krebs

Mon, Sep 7th: Close Encounters of the Bit Kind on the Ars Electronica facade

I will clean this up and add details soon … a website redesign is needed anyway.

suboptimal live 09 cd

12 tracks fresh off the cpu during the SubOptimal Summer 09 tour.

Jun 21 – Jul 4, Paris – Rotterdam – Amsterdam – Gothenburg

These are the best live recordings of each song, a snapshot of the robotcowboy set at that time.

Download suboptimal live 09 (.zip)


front cover back cover



Summer09 – a few european shows

robotcowboy will be appearing at a few places in europe: