Jessica Field

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SICB, 2004 (Semiotic Investigation into Cybernetic Behaviour)

Semiotic Investigation into Cybernetic Behaviour from Jessica Field on Vimeo.

The work “Semiotic Investigation into Cybernetic Behaviour” or SICB is a robotic installation that behaves like a real time theatrical performance carried out by two completely self-absorbed robots, ALAN and CLARA, that both see the world differently.

These robots have been programmed with all the possible choices they can use to react to their environment. They have also been programmed with the desire to interpret their environment accurately and the need to have their peer always agree with their analysis. Both robots have an opinion of how they think the world should behave and they both expect certain situations to occur often.

In having this expectation of how their world should behave, the two robots believe that there are other situations that cannot happen. If they do, the robot's confidence in themselves is questioned. Depending on how often they think they are wrong, the robot's confidence can degrade into paranoia where their world seems to be breaking all the rules of what should happen. Conversely, when the robots feel right all the time, they become exceptionally arrogant.

Due to their ability to choose their own reactions, this theatrical play shows all the possibilities in which these two robots can react to their environment and to each other. Thus, we see a performance that shows all the complications that arise from making unwavering assumptions about the world and the desire for the world to agree with an unyielding view.

Daniel Langlois Foundation logo
This project was realised with the support of the Daniel Langlois Foundation