Odd Beholder‘s latest video features performance artist Ernestyna Orlowska. We see her in various everyday situations that are sometimes very private – it seems as if she was filmed by a hacked iPhone. Her mobile phone registers her at all time. It scans her in order to profile her and to create a twisted digital copy of hers.
The lyrics of the song «Uncanny Valley» shed light on the relationship of the narrator with her AI. In the song, this AI is imagined as some sort of a sex robot, with which we go on a road trip in our self-driving car. In the video, we emphazise that our society is already on a road trip with AI. For real. We maintain a close relationship with our mobile phones – they accompany us everywhere, they talk with us, they percieve us and surveil us. With the depiction of a pregnant digital clone (rendered by the game desinger Tunay Bora), we ask what the offspring of this merging of humanity with AI will be; what kind of society will result out of this bond? The lyrics of «Uncanny Valley» ask if the fantasy of a society, in which all the hard work, but also more and more responsability is carried by machines, creates ultimately a dangerous and unsatisfying reality: A reality, in which everything is both at reach and out of our hands, in which we are disabled. We‘ll get ever- ything we want, but we‘ll be completely unnecessary. The chorus goes: «Someone bear me / I can’t be born alone». Are we still ready to bear each other, give birth to each other? Or should we not be allowed to wish to be carried by a human? Why would anyone want to be someone‘s burden? Should a feminist, for example, wish that children will be still carried out by women in the future, or shall we argue with Shulamith Firestone that only an artificial womb will resolve gender injustice?
Technically, we are not that far from the possibility to erase motherhood: Already, we are able to breed lamb foetus outside of their mother‘s bellies. The Swiss law grants their citizen only three months of maternity leave - and one off day for dads. Do we real- ly need robots to solve what we can‘t fix as a society? Robots don‘t need. They don‘t need unions, health care, maternity leave.
Remains the question: Do we want to be carried out by robots?
«Pano Bold» by Filip Matejicek