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Posted on 21 March 2017

Eugenia Stamboliev on "Performing intimacy: On the dilemma of representing affection with non-human bodies"

The field of artificial emotions (AE) is focused predominantly on phenomenological and aesthetic qualities when simulating and representing emotions or affects. This is driven by humanoid robotics (HR) being grounded in a materialistic, reductionist way of embodying AE as gesture based system. One way of unpacking potential issues of a purely performative structure of emotion is to discuss the inclusion of humanoid robots as "emotional actors" in contemporary plays. In this talk Eugenia will discuss why these collaborations are becoming more tempting, in artistic and scientific terms, and how the theatrical stage actually predicts a near future of including humanoids robots in our daily lives while pointing to the issues or gains awaiting us with our new "companions". She is using the play Spillikin. A love story (2016) that was performed recently at the Royal Theatre in Plymouth to illustrate her points.

The talk will be given on 22 March as part of the PEP research seminar series (Performance.Experience.Presence) at the Arts Institute, Plymouth University. Eugenia Stamboliev is a CogNovo research fellow working on the project Imag(in)ing intimacy. On the visual and material representation of affection. as part of her PhD.