By Kate Fisher on 06 Feb 2018
A full audience packed the various chairs of Paper Mountain; the sparsely decorated performance space and music by Peaches provided disparate clues to what might be forthcoming.
Performer Michelle Aitken entered, providing a moving spotlight for her robot co-star and dancing around it.
Collaborators Olivia Tartaglia and Azariah Felton projected images on the wall and ceiling, played music and sounds providing contextual clues while bright laser dot patterns overlaid everything.
The transition from the almost blank space to multi-sensory input became overwhelming.
There was a first-night technical difficulty, but luckily a speaker-savvy audience member came to the rescue and the show continued without losing steam.
Aitken confidently danced, acted and spoke along with the projected video footage.
She revealed unusual sympathy for all robots, from simple kitchen appliances to complex interactive androids. Even though these are emotionless objects, is it wrong to misuse them?
The thought provoking multimedia performance explored ideas around androids designed for traditionally female duties, particularly sex robots.
Mixing imagery throughout the centuries from Galatea to Siri, with the dominant theme being men attempting to create a form of woman they can easily control.
If the purpose of technology is to improve our lives, can we allow it to go so far as to replace women? That might improve the lives of men who already view women as inferior to them but it would also encourage their beliefs further.
Many cautionary tales show these creations becoming self-aware and seeking revenge, destroying their creators.
While we’re not quite at the stage of the kind of Artificial Intelligence shown in fiction, it is certainly not far away, and the possible ethical and philosophical implications are already being discussed.
The title of the show contains double meanings; android as the new Eve to man’s Adam, and the end of everything.
11 Feb 2018