Archive: Stefan Kaegi / Rimini Protokoll und Thomas Melle

Krems Forum Frohner Forum Frohner

Uncanny Valley

Program text


The expression “Uncanny Valley” refers to an unsettling feeling people experience when robots and other artificial figures have a close, nearly perfect human resemblance but are not convincingly realistic. In the project Uncanny Valley an animatronic double is made of the writer Thomas Melle. This humanoid, who makes an appearance in place of the physically absent author, poses the questions: Is there a competition between copy and original or is the “next society” (Dirk Baecker) anyway a network of data processing programs with and without consciousness? The real Thomas Melle appears on a screen. In the video Kaegi documents how engineers construct Melle’s body out of servomotors and silicone and program the motor skills of his counterpart. The robot becomes an actor, which potentially can evoke empathy: empathy for a mobile data packet or for a person made of flesh and blood who is afficted by bipolar disorders?

Concept, text, direction:
Stefan Kaegi
Evi Bauer
Text, body, voice:
Thomas Melle
Mikko Gaestel
Niki Neecke
Martin Valdés-Stauber
Chiscreatures Filmeffects GmbH
Production and Art Finish of the silicone head / coloration and hair:
Tommy Opatz
Lighting design:
Robert Läßig
Sound and video design:
Jaromir Zezula
Production Manager touring:
Epona Hamdan

A production of Münchner Kammerspiele in Co-production with donaufestival (Krems), Festspiele Berlin, Immersion, Feodor Elutine (Moscow), SPRING Performing Arts Festival (Utrecht) and Triennale Teatro dell’Arte (Mailand).
Performance rights at Rowohlt Theater Verlag, Reimbeck near Hamburg



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