Category Archives: Performance

Performance-Lecture on Embodied Interaction at SLSA 2023

I gave a performance-lecture with Hortense Gerardo and CRANE, the co-robotic arm, for SLSA 2023 at ASU. Our talk discussed perceptions of embodied intelligence and trust in human-robot interaction. This piece builds off of our previous work Dances with Robots, for Heidi Latsky’s ON DISPLAY GLOBAL 2020, and leads towards our IDEAS performance “Beyond the Black Box” at the Qualcomm Institute in May of 2023.

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Alphabet

2004-2009 (ongoing)

This project is a durational performance focusing on the most minimal, rote mechanical interaction between a human and their computer: typing. For students of a certain era, computer education began with the alphabet, in learning how to touch type. This project rehearses that activity: as an ordered, purposeful, physical interaction with the computer, but one which is devoid of meaning. It plays on the idea of work as complicated by information technologies: each line below is 100% original, unique data as typed by the artist (no cut and paste).



Uuencode Random

Exploring the limits of attention. The difficulty of doing something really, really tedious, rote menchanical, with no value. This durational performance, transcribing the random text output of the random kernel function, is ongoing.

Engine Disassembly

The engine diassembly project was a series of actions in which I trained on assembling and disassembling a small gas engine, analogous to the disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly rehearsed by soldiers as a way of knowing, maintaining, and bonding with their weapons. That lost sort of mechanical intelligence. Cycles, circular motion, wasted energy.

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Megahal Grandmommy

Megahal Grandmommy is a chatbot program I trained as a surrogate for my real grandmother, who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimers. In a private performance over the course of a number of months I conversed with this program, airing thoughts and fears for her situation, discussing events in our lives, and exploring the space around this impending loss. In later stages of existence, the piece has been installed as a program for viewers to interact with, exploring and piecing together a narrative with the fragments hidden in the program’s replies. The chatbot technology was chosen for this project specifically because of its limitations–the dysfunctional and fractured conversation which it is capable of seemed a suitable analogy for the degradation of communication I expect with my grandmother as her situation progresses. This piece functioned as a cathartic unpacking, a rehearsal for loss, and an inscription of a very particular textual, interactive portrait–and it has provided entirely unexpected moments of humor and relief.

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