Aibo is Dead

On the edge of the Blade we runA show curated by Alexandros TzannisAssistant curator: Odette Kouzouhttps://instagram.com/ontheedgeofthebladewerun Aibo is Dead, Performance 2019 Performance & concept by Antigone Theodorousound design by Whystine The performance idea derived from the exhibition’s subject matters and from the sequel to the 1982 film Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049. I choosed a place inside a small library room which was connected with the rest of the space with glass windows. This was the main space of the exhibition event. It was part of a former textile industry built in 1936 at Votanikos area. I remembered Dr. Ana Stelline, the replicant memory designer, in the film she was enclosed in a minimal cyber room where she could study artificial nature and implanting memories. She was the only character at the film that she was born, not created and due to her original memories she was able to design the memories of the replicants. The spectators could see the action outside of the windows and they could listen to a sound piece. As a performer I could imagine myself between the mechanical doll (Daryl Hannah) of Blade runner 1982 and Dr. Ana Stelline (Carla Juri) of the sequel film. My idea was to invent an artificial birthday party for the opening of the exhibition. Few days before the event a friend sent me an article entitled “In Japan, a Buddhist Funeral Service for Robot Dogs”. I considered it funny and sad the same time and I wanted to “play” with this contradiction. I entered the space dressed and move like a mechanical doll holding a poster with the dead Aibo dog. I started playing with black balloons and narrating through prerecorded audio parts of the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? that I have selected, mixed with an hypnotic background sound of a kids happy birthday song. I lightened candles and the birthday cake was served to the spectators. 

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick, first published in 1968. The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco, where Earth's life has been greatly damaged by a nuclear global war, leaving most animal species endangered or extinct.

The book served as the primary basis for the 1982 film Blade Runner and many elements and themes from it were used in the film's 2017 sequel Blade Runner 2049.

AIBO (Artificial Intelligence Robot) is a series of robotic dogs designed and manufactured by Sony. When Sony announced in 2014 that they would no longer support updates to the aging robots, some AIBO owners heard a much more somber message: Their pet robot dogs would die. Out of respect for the owners’ emotional connection to the “deceased” devices, a former Sony employee and his colleagues decided to hold funerals  https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/asia/japan/in-japan--a-buddhist-funeral-service-for-robot-dogs/