Identification with non-human

The subject of Kaegi's animatronic-robot performancen 'Uncanny Valley', Thomas Melle, is himself a writer and was invited to write much of the text. The writing has an urgency and honesty that allowed me, as a viewer, to emotionally 'buy into' the robot in the same way I would if Melle were performing himself. The subject of the Christian holy theme park 'Tierra Santa', in Argentina, is of course God. God apparently created everything (not just this theme park). His and Jesus's voice is heard at various points in many of the animatronic shows that are staged there. For most visitors, suspension of disbelief is a given: it comes suspended. And for them too, the writing has an urgency that allows them, as viewers, to emotionally 'buy into' the robots in the same way they would if God were speaking Himself. 


Making a deliberate decision to present only the voice may assist the ‘making present’ of those who cannot be physically present (for example, those who can’t show their face). 

The term ‘acousmatic sound’ means an invisible sound source, and can be relevant to voice. The term comes from ‘the Acousmatics’, pupils of the philosopher Pythagoras who listened to him deliver his lectures from behind a curtain (it was thought that visual distraction would impinge on the purity of his teachings.) In acousmatic art, one hears sound from behind a "veil" of loudspeakers, the source invisible.



Perhaps best thought of as a mechanical, autonomous version of puppetry, it’s possible to employ a moving non-human being or robot in performance. It may have explicit human characteristics (body, voice, movement), or such traits may only surface due to the context of its staging.


Stefan Kaegi

The solely performer in this work is a humanoid robot, a copy of a real person, the writer Thomas Melle. It performs a lecture on instability, written and narrated by Melle, who is not actually present.


Completely available
Completely unneccesary

To what extent does the artist need to be reachable during the Showing without Going from a distance?


A series of animatronic performances performed hourly within theatres set inside artificial hills. 

"...the book of Genesis with animatronic lions and hippos... the hourly appearance of the 40-foot Jesus statue that rises up from within a skull-covered Golgotha while Handel’s Messiah blasts from the speakers. The massive savior wiggles his stigmata and closes his eyes in a state of grace before lowering back down into the mountain..."