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Bondi Feast: Future's Eve

"Sometimes I feel helpless in the face of this future"

Michelle Aitken examines gendered and erotic relationships with technology via sexbots, Siri and sci-fi.

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Company: Hey! Precious
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Bondi Feast: Future’s Eve

Date: 15 Jul 2018

Future’s Eve is my first solo show.

On one level, it’s about our gendered and erotic relationships with technology – sexbots, Siri, sci-fi and the sense that this all isn’t good enough.

It’s also about me as an artist, navigating a self-made minefield of ethical questions, pop-culture and cutting-edge technologies and coming out the other side without any answers.

For me, Future’s Eve is more about the importance of asking questions than it is a show about offering solutions to problems. Or, perhaps asking questions and interrogating change that seems inevitable.

The futures of flying cars, sex robots and marvellous new ways of making food are also the futures – from what much of cult sci-fi tells us – with serious downsides: Massive disparities in wealth; apocalyptic landscapes of ecological collapse, and most interestingly to me, the saturation of images of man-made, born-sexy-yesterday women for cool male protagonists to save, sleep with, or vanquish.

Of course, I know movies are not predictions of real things waiting to happen. But the thing is, this future seems more than a little like what we’re heading towards. Sex robots are becoming more and more lifelike and I do think film can reveal to us societal anxieties about man-made women: The destructive, defective, disposable and objectified.

This isn’t a future I want to live in.

Sometimes I feel helpless in the face of this future. And often the extent of my ability to communicate about change making is to say, ‘I have a really bad feeling about this.’

What making a show gives to this feeling is the opportunity to imagine better futures, and share these dreams with other people.

And so, Future’s Eve is filled with melodrama, snark, silver unitards, confusion, rage, revenge, dorky gags, and ultimately hope.

It’s the sense of hope that I think is the most important. I want to spark new ideas, and conversations, and possibly in the smallest way, have us think about the role we all play, through complicity or otherwise, in the unfolding of our global future.

This constant poking at the way things are is a huge part of why I want to make theatre.

I come from a contemporary dance background, so for me, Future’s Eve is a move towards a more inter-disciplinary approach to making work. I hope the show occupies something of both worlds. It delivers a shiny silver DIY spectacular of projection, dance, and theatre, while still remaining grounded in the act of putting my body on stage.

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