Café Machina 2021
Medium: Interactive Performance with Winch Motors
Performance by Levin Ifko and Bomi Yook
Filming Assistance by Halen King
Café Machina questions how technology directs our relationships, our reality, and our experience of the world. Viewers peek into a strange and eerie room where machines are navigating humans through the darkness. Two performers are blind-folded and bound to two motors. The machines pull them inward or release them outward, circumscribing their mobility and placement across the space. The blinded performers grasp into the darkness, hoping to grab hold of anything in what feels like an abyss of existential uncertainty. They stumble into objects, walls, and occasionally each other.
When the machines loosen their grip, they enable a wider span of movement for the performers and the possibility of encountering each other. When the machines tighten their grip, they tear the performers away from one another, to become lost in the dark once again. Relationship becomes a highly mediated event through the technology that both connects and separates people. As the motors steer the performers around the darkness, they come to dictate what things, discoveries, and losses the humans experience. What is shown to the human is mediated through the frame of technology that decides who or what is revealed at particular moments and places.