Taming robots with Kroy's “Animachina”

Tame robots with &laquo ;Animachina» de Kroy


Kroy – real name Camille Poliquin and half of the duo Milk & Bone – thought Animachina, animism and nemesis, where the robot becomes co-creator of a disconcerting ballet, of a supernatural symphony. This series of seven video performances thus resonates like an invitation to reconsider automata.

Remember thatAnimachina, animism and nemesis is presented free of charge at the PHI Center until January 31st.

A look back at a discussion with multidisciplinary artist Kroy.

How did the Animachina project come into existence?

I started thinking about it at the start of the pandemic. My collaborators and I were anxious about, perhaps, not being able to be on stage anymore. As I like the internet and the digital presence, I had the idea of ​​an alternative concert without musicians. Could I train something else with me, like robots? That’s when I was introduced to Jonathon Anderson, from the Creative School at Ryerson University in Toronto, who oversaw Animachina. It is both my opposite and my complement. Even though he is an engineer, he has a real artistic side. For my part, technology attracts me a lot. This meeting made it possible to explore the inanimate, the human and music.

Exactly, what was your relationship with robots before Animachina?

I've never really been afraid of the sci-fi side of robots. I’ve always been interested in them, but it clicked during a show when there were moving lights above me. Their movement, too fluid not to be alive and organic, stressed me. It wasn't going very well. So I wanted to rent a moving light to tinker with it and think I could control it. Of course, I didn't know how to do this alone! (Laughs.)

What about today?

I developed an emotional relationship with the robots. Since I didn’t have access to them all the time during the Animachina creation process, I realized that I missed them. A friend then told me about animism in digital art. That was exactly how I felt. I see machines as collaborators, even if they can also become enemies…

The result of the videos is very pleasant to watch, even if the filming was difficult, because there is an element of danger with the automation of the robots.

Working with robots comes from an obsession.

Kroy on Animachina

In your performances, we see that the robot is not at the service of the human, but rather that it’s about interactions. Can you tell us more?

I wanted to meet the machine. My favorite thing about Animachina is that the robot doesn't speak in BPM like me. He works remotely. So I had no choice but to adapt to his language. The opposite would have been simpler, but uninteresting.

What did this unique experience bring you?

I have never felt so much about my X than when I faced robots. It’s one of my greatest personal accomplishments. We are also talking about future collaborations with Jonathon Anderson and his machines! Why not perform the performances in a live venue?

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