Dec 17, 2014 4:34PM

Artist Makes Femme Bots That Respond To Your Feels

Sonic metaphor: 'Swarming Emotional Pianos'.

New media artist and composer Erin Gee has created femme bots (feminist robots) that are capable of reading emotions for her latest project 'Swarming Emotional Pianos'. Creepy? Neigh.

The artist argued the contrary in a recent interview: "I like to consider the robots in this project through sonic metaphors: maybe they are amplifiers to our humanity, our emotions as expressed through physical actions in our bodies," said Gee. "Maybe they are pesky, uncanny echoes in our environment. But there is a part of the human in every robot made."

How is this possible? The "digital art practice" features a set of mobile robots that each house a instrumental and lighting component. The behaviour and music of these femme bots is controlled via the 'emotional biofeedback' — the breathing, heart rate, sweat glands, blood pressure, and skin sensitive — of live actors, meaning their both responding to a manipulating the emotions of real people. 

Erin recruited neurophysiologist Vaughan Macefield to turn IRL human data into soothing robo music, movement, and light patterns that reflect the performers' emotions.

For Gee, the feminist aspect of her work comes through the multiplicity of creators and producers. "I think it is important for a diversity of people to be working in knowledge production and developing knowledge about our physical world, and that this is a feminist act. I have always found myself trying to argue a space for artistic creation that is feminist through its materiality, and furthermore through the emphasis on the body as a source of knowledge."

Check out more of Erin Gee's work here.


Alexandra Godwin