Developed as a research project between choreographer Melanie Lane and the University of Canberra robotics lab under the auspices of Dr Damith Herath, ‘THE FIRST’, was developed during a pilot artistic residency program within a university research lab.
Two robotic arms skinned in black fabric and human faces perform a looped dance sequence culminating in a gentle kiss. ‘THE FIRST’ has been developed as a creative and critical response to significant cultural and technological shifts that impact understandings of intimacy.
Interested in the collision between choreography and robotics, THE FIRST conjures unimaginable realities that express our ever-evolving existence within an accelerating, technological world. This uncanny fiction offers audiences a space to reflect on our relationship with technology and how we express our human experiences through new forms of art.
In doing so, THE FIRST investigates dynamics of non-verbal communication that intersect with research into perceptions of the post human body.
The robotic writing of this narrative as a collaboration between human and robot actors engages with the emergent phenomena of digital intimacies, where human encounters are increasingly mediated by technological platforms and tools that complicate experiences of intimacy.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.