Uncanny Valley

By Kaegi

We mostly think of robots as work machines, as efficient and precise executors of tasks. In German industry, they barely look like people, to avoid emotional complications. Unlike in Asia, where humanoid robots have already been developed for some time, for example for care-work or as sex partners. The external similarity to human beings makes the acceptance of machines easier. However, if the machine is too similar to a human, we begin to feel mistrust: what is human, what is machine? Japanese robotics researchers call this weird similarity the “uncanny valley”.
For his new play, Stefan Kaegi works with a writer and playwright for the first time: Thomas Melle allowed an animatronic double of himself to be made. This humanoid takes the author’s place and throws up questions: what does it mean for the original when the copy takes over? Does the original get to know himself better through his electronic double? Do the copy and his original compete or do they help each other?

 

Concept, Text & Direction: Stefan Kaegi

Text / Body / Voice: Thomas Melle
Equipment: Evi Bauer
Animatronic: Chiscreatures Filmeffects GmbH
Manufacturing and Art Finish of the silicone head / coloration and hair: Tommy Opatz
Dramaturgy: Martin Valdés-Stauber
Video Design: Mikko Gaestel
Musik: Nicolas Neecke

 

A production of Münchner Kammerspiele.
In Coproduction with Berliner Festspiele - Immersion, donaufestival (Krems), Feodor Elutine (Moscow), Triennale Teatro dell'Arte (Milano), Temporada Alta - Festival de Tador de Catalunya (Girona), SPRING Utrecht