Montréal (Québec) Canada
with the help of
The Canada Council for the Arts
Le Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec
Copacabana Machine Sex is a robotic performance project investing a more traditional theatrical stage approach. Loosely inspired by Chico MacMurtrie's Robotic Opera (1992) where a small group of humanoid robots performed various percussive musical pieces, as well as some of our own performance work such as Le Procès (LP Demers & Bill Vorn, 1999) or Grace State Machines (2007), the Copacabana project presents music-making machines as well as acting and dancing robots. The goal is not to replicate a real nightclub, but to conceive a metaphorical extravaganza in response to the question: what would happen if machines would be on the stage of a cabaret?
The set is a strange hybrid mix between the classic Broadway kitsch and the dark industrial look of our previous works (see Robography section). The "machine sex" theme is approached not on the literal or strict sense, but in a subtler manner where machines are obviously not being presented as having intercourse with each other but rather involved in a seduction endeavor between themselves and with the viewers. Even though this performance can be referred to as being a "machine burlesque" spectacle, the aim is mainly to evoke this kind of familiar context in an unusual way through simplistic machine behaviors.