Performance: If (x = Robot), Then (y = Move fast and break things); In the (z = Self-Cleaning House); of (n = Coherent Nonsense); While (m = Being Mechanical Turk);
This interactive performance stems from artist Sarah Buckius’s Arts & Resistance exhibit !!!techn010ffspring!!!, which is on view in Lane Hall during Fall semester.
Bringing together her perspectives as an artist, mechanical engineer, and mother, Buckius developed a female-coded-robot-persona who is a bit of a provocateur, an inventor of absurd mischievous interactions with the live audience that weave together historical and present day techno-science-fact-fiction gender-based references in a tangled mesh of video, sound, animation, and code-based instructions. The piece investigates female-coded personae of robots, code-based work of mechanical turks, the invention of the “self-cleaning house” and Silicon Valley’s motto to “move fast and break things." Audience members interact with coded-game-like instructions that direct them to interact with her robot personae to execute mechanical turk-like tasks.
This project is made possible by a grant from the Arts Initiative at the University of Michigan and co-sponsored by U-M’s Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender with support from the Arts Council Santa Cruz County.
About the Artist:
Sarah Buckius is an artist, educator, and engineer who lives in Santa Cruz, California. Originally from the midwest (Champaign, IL), she holds an M.F.A. from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her creative work, which incorporates digital media (video, photography, collage, animation) and performance, has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Through her work, she weaves "Intertwined HerStories" that originate from the cross-section of -gender--technology--lens-based-media--the human body--caregiving-. She works in the space of absurdity that emerges at the point of disconnect between the seemingly coded / structured / ordered / production-based space of technology and the messy / complex / idiosyncratic space of humanity and is interested in uncovering the ways in which working with and creating technology illuminates humanness, including gender biases. With an underlying goal of supporting DEI in STEM fields, her work illuminates the ingenuity of diverse groups of people.
“!!!techn010ffspring!!!” is open for viewing M-F, 9am-4pm or by appointment. University of Michigan instructors can email LaneHallExhibits@umich.edu to request a group tour or schedule a class visit.