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The Robot and Bob
Hacking The Android Circuit

Thu 15 June 2017

The Robot and Bob perform a unique cyborg adaptation of Tom McGrath’s science fiction play The Android Circuit, featuring a robot vacuum cleaner and live collaboration with artificial intelligence.

The Android Circuit (1978) is a science fiction comedy written by Scottish playwright Tom McGrath. During later discussions about the play, he described it as “a stab at something new” explaining that “It seemed that the theatre was lagging behind in its reflection of technology”. Hacking The Android Circuit confronts and builds upon McGrath’s vision of “man as a technological being”. The performances re-address notions of gender, entropy and what it means to be human and/or non-human. The Robot and Bob take pleasure in confusing boundaries and present a fresh vision of the technology/human hybrid. In the spirit of McGrath himself, The Robot and Bob take a stab at something new.

The Robot and Bob create collaborative cyborg performance and attempt wherever possible to work without hierarchy or anthropomorphism. The iRobot Roomba 533 has been performing since August 2015, having previously been primarily a vacuum cleaner. It has been working with Bob Moyler since that time as his semi-autonomous research partner. For Hacking The Android Circuit, The Robot and Bob are joined by regular collaborators the iRobot Roomba 530, Susan Robertson and Andrew Scade. The performance features a new collaboration with Torch-rnn, a recurrent neural network.

Please note: The Robot & Bob work a fault-tolerant system and allow for performance exceptions to shape the execution of any performance in real-time.

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