Be Like Body–Obsolete #4 - 1st stage

First Stage – Video shoot at QPAC Merivale Studio

Second week of February: video shoot with

Suzon Fuks (performer, project initiator)
James Cunningham (outside eye)
Freddy Komp (videographer, tech manager)
organised by IGNEOUS.

Igneous and Suzon Fuks would like to thank QPAC for their support.

 

Dramaturgical Rationale

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics increasingly do work formerly allocated to humans. Algorithms ‘assist us’ by suggesting what we might like to purchase, adding up our spending, and reminding us of friends’ birthdays.

With Suzon’s movement-based performance at the centre, in ‘Be like Body—Obsolete #4’ she uses video art, graphics, multilingual poetry, streaming, and interactivity with online audiences to continue looking at HUMAN obsolescence—as an enduring sci-fi fantasy, a human resources crisis, humanity’s entanglement with technology, our role in perpetuating and feeding algorithms, or our inability to live without the info-tainment our devices provide.

Initially shocked by Stelarc’s statement at the turn of the century that ‘the body is obsolete’, Suzon Fuks has since been influenced by the books of Yuval Noah Harari. From Harari’s perspective, with the creation of robots, AI and the Internet of Things, our bodies are becoming outdated. He goes on to say that while we are researching and quantifying how human brains function, our minds and senses need to be delved into further, as they are what differentiates us from our machines.

As the internet becomes increasingly economically-driven and mono-cultural, it is important to see which demographics are being ‘discarded’ first, with unequal and changing implications pertaining to specific abilities, gender, race, age, acquired disease or privilege. Therefore, the multilingual aspect of ‘Be like Body—Obsolete #4’ is to highlight the wealth of various cultures online, promoting acceptance and making space online for culture and language inclusivity, destabilising the primacy on English.

Suzon wants to share, through this online live performance, the need to continuously be aware of the advancement of our tools, without falling into superficiality, commodity of use, and pre-formatted structures.

Suzon’s exploration of the mind and senses is being realised through minimalist movement, meditations, and simple old and new rituals that she will perform, and invite the audience to attend and perform themselves. She is committed to an interactivity that allows and encourages agency for online audiences, rather than the passive watching that is common for viewers of streamed media. Rituals are linked to human presence and corporeality, as well as our environment, our relations to it and our respect for nature.

The set forms an allegorical reference. An aged woman (Fuks) is surrounded on all four sides by empty computer screens, and a ‘galaxy’ of discarded laptops and electronic components such as motherboards, keyboards, drives and cables. Although ‘engulfed’ or ‘restricted’ by her surroundings, she is also the living centre of this spiral structure, elder and guardian. Her humanity contrasts the metallic/electronic technology through dance, touch, nurture, affection, curiosity and ceremony.