Simple Machines

Simple Machines

Wed 26 Oct 2022
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by Ugo Dehaes

Simple Machines is the second project of the Forced Labor cycle by the Belgian choreographer Ugo Dehaes. This lecture-performance tells the story of a choreographer who tries to be replaced by technology. Starting from the most simple machines, he builds up a universe that is populated by mechanical organisms that train and learn to become artists on their own.
In Simple Machines Ugo explains how robots are born, from slimy cocoons to shiny machines, and how we can train them with artificial intelligence until they are capable of creating and performing their own show.
The performance ends with a glimpse of the future: a ballet for homemade robot-dancers without the intervention of a human choreographer. Each robot-dancer has its own shape, none of them humanoid, and thus its own set of possible movements. The choreography is build up around their unique physical possibilities, and the data generated throughout the performance.

After seeing the show Simple Machines, the audience is invited to interact with 8 robots and to help them become better dancers. To do this the audience can move robots around, vote on their movements or observe how they evolve.

"In Simple Machines, Ugo Dehaes actually shows the development of the technology and the dimensions it can take. What he shows indirectly with his parody - intentionally or not - are the dangers that this development entails: we react feelings that aren't really there at all, and build relationships with objects that are inanimate."
Raphaela Portmann - Basler Zeitung


Ugo Dehaes

For the creation of his performances Ugo Dehaes always departs from the gaze of the spectator. Instead of wrestling with complex concepts, he asks himself what he would like to see on stage at that given moment. That way, he shares his own amazement and fascination for movement with the audience.
By focusing on the personal stories, he transforms his own initial spark into something recognisable for all. By doing so, he offers the audience a different way of looking at the world.
In the past, his sober, radical but accessible performances focused on the power of the dance and the dancers. After all, Dehaes is fascinated by the human body and the person living in said body. The last few years however, he has been going into a different direction and switched his focus to robots. He wonders how radical one can think in search of efficiency and optimisation of society.
Ugo Dehaes on IG


a performance by Ugo Dehaes scenography and composition Wannes Deneer dramaturgy Marie Peeters Silicone in collaboration with Rebecca Flores Construction table Kristof Morel Production C-TAKT, kwaad bloed & Tuning People Supported by STORMOPKOMST Distribution Vincent Company Thanks to AI Experience Center VUB, Caroline Pauwels, De Factorij, Gertjan Biasino, Hans De Cank, Pol Eggermont, Roeland Luyten & VGC
As part of Pilar ASAP Thu 13 Oct — Thu 10 Nov 2022 Order to Disorder Edition See how far you can go without hitting boundaries
16:00 - 17:30
19:30 - 21:00
Presale: € 10,00
At the door: € 13,00
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