Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. 1990
Something that repeats references itself, 2020
Something that repeats references itself talks about being self-referencing; being imitated by itself, and, thus, self-absorbed; reflecting to infinity in the same way that happens when you oppose two mirrors and place an object in-between them; exponentially multiplying it until you cannot speak of any other thing, because, in fact, there is no other thing.
Using mimic rhetoric and combining the image of the self and the other, this video links Robonaut 2 – a robot designed by NASA and General Motors whose purpose is to facilitate repairing works in orbit- and human figure. The main concept is simple: what would happen if we asked someone to learn and imitate the gestures played during usage and operation demos of a robot designed to follow the humanoid aesthetics of an automaton?
Hence, we see a human reproducing – or trying to – a robot’s manual gestures that have been based on different human motility signs. We can see a humanized robot and an objectified human, a distorted gesture, translated in the same way a story is transmitted by word of mouth in Chinese Whispers. Because of this, the shown images of the human figure erase all recognizable elements of the individual, reducing it to torso and hands that mechanically reproduce those gestures and motions.
Accompanied with repetitive music reminiscing of those demos and highlighting the ridicule of the situation and the absurdity of the experiment, the will of this piece is to ramble about what could happen if we translated and abstracted a series of gestures and tried to interpret that translation.