Live dance performance investigating the feminine cyborg metaphor with a motion-activated wearable robot

Kate Ladenheim, Reika McNish, Wali Rizvi, Amy LaViers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This paper presents artistic work that comments on the exploitation of feminine gender performance in technology, from the point of view of a particular artist, enabled by a wearable robotic device that creates an onstage cyborg character. The piece, entitled "Babyface" was created in residence in a robotics lab and has catalyzed the development of a motion-activated wearable robot. This paper reports on the creation of this piece, its accompanying device, along with initial responses that have been shared informally. Iterations of multiple flexible attachment structures, a clear plastic dress that references the hyperbolic representation of the female sex, as well as the electronic subsystems are presented alongside discussion of the somatic and choreographic investigations that accompanied prototype development. These fabricated elements alongside the actions of the performer and a soundscape that quotes statements made by real "female" robots create an otherwordly, sad cyborg character that causes viewers to question their assumptions about and pressures on the female ideal. This work is an important first step in the development of a wearable robot with embodied connection to the performer and, eventually, audience members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHRI 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages243-251
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367462
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 9 2020
Event15th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction, HRI 2020 - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: Mar 23 2020Mar 26 2020

Publication series

NameACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
ISSN (Electronic)2167-2148

Conference

Conference15th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction, HRI 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityCambridge
Period3/23/203/26/20

Keywords

  • Expressive robotics
  • Feminism
  • Human-augmentation
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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