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Baltoscandal '22: Uncanny Valley

Rimini Protokoll
Stefan Kaegi, Thomas Melle
Stefan Kaegi

Stefan Kaegi / Rimini Protokoll

Concept, text and direction Stefan Kaegi
Text, body and voice Thomas Melle
Equipment Evi Bauer
Animatronic Chiscreatures Filmeffects GmbH
Manufacturing and Art Finish of the silicone head, coloration and hair Tommy Opatz
Dramaturgy Martin Valdés-Stauber
Video design Mikko Gaestel
Music Nicolas Neecke
Production management Rimini Protokoll / touring Epona Hamdan
Light design, touring Robert Läßig, Martin Schwemin, Lisa Eßwein
Sound- and video design, touring Jaromir Zezula, Nikolas Neecke
Translation Mario Pulver

We mostly think of robots as work machines, as efficient and precise executors of tasks. In German industry, they barely look like people, to avoid emotional complications. Unlike in Asia, where humanoid robots have already been developed for some time, for example for care-work or as sex partners. The external similarity to human beings makes the acceptance of machines easier. However, if the machine is too similar to a human, we begin to feel mistrust: what is human, what is machine? Japanese robotics researchers call this weird similarity the “uncanny valley”.

For his new play, Stefan Kaegi works with a writer and playwright for the first time: Thomas Melle allowed an animatronic double of himself to be made. This humanoid takes the author’s place and throws up questions: what does it mean for the original when the copy takes over? Does the original get to know himself better through his electronic double? Do the copy and his original compete or do they help each other?

In English, with Estonian translation
Duration 60 min

This play has originally been produced by Münchner Kammerspiele; coproduction Berliner Festspiele / immersion, Donaufestival (Krems), Feodor Elutine (Moskva/Moscow), FOG Triennale Milano Performing Arts (Milano), Temporada Alta – Festival de Tado de Catalunya (Girona), SPRING Utrecht; support to Estonian performances Goethe Institute.

Performing rights: Rowohlt Theater Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg.