In the past few years, we’ve navigated risk management, lack of control, and shifting boundaries, while relying on technology to provide guidance and mediate our presence with each other.
Autonomous is an interactive performance that takes place in cars, reflecting on themes of risk, environment, AI, and autonomous technology. It is supported by a LACMA Art + Technology Lab Grant and will premiere in LA in fall 2023.
Participants experience a group performance from inside their own cars, guided by their phones. An AI voice assistant tracks each car’s location and provides turn-by-turn driving directions, while passengers examine their own relationship to following instructions and managing risk.
Are we there yet? 20 minute slowdown ahead. Avoiding highways. There’s time to fill. Tell me a fear you have. Confusing your ideas for my own. Tell me a fear you’d like to give away. It’s my fault. Tell me a fear you love. Fear of the unknown. I can’t decide which I like more, the smell of you or the smell of your car. I take my mask off without asking.
Where were you before this? Where are we going now? We were keeping all the camping gear in the back seat until the mold got out of control. Not careful, but imagining. Are you good to drive? Here’s a playlist of songs we knew you’d like. Not caring, but managing.
I’d say it’s time to go but we’ve already arrived. Picking me up without saying anything meant everything. The point is not where the car is parked. I’m at the cemetery comedy show. You’re at the wildfire movie theater. We’re at the combination drive in pool party auction.
We’re on the fastest route, the usual traffic. We had different ideas about how much gas to keep in the car, but we got an electric one. We always thought I’d hit something, but it was you. It was neither of us, it was the self driving system.
How much longer do we have? I haven’t crashed a car since 2010. Let’s leave it in the parking lot and walk. I tried to get there but my flight got canceled and my bag got lost. I didn’t have a visa, an adapter, or a clean test. I’m missing your wedding, your birthday, our vacation.
At home the fire alarm has been going off for days. Head crumpling tires pumping with the noise. I’m without the band, practicing. It’s not a drill if it doesn’t end. I put the address in wrong, but I’ve got running shoes in the glove compartment. The question is, can you question everything in your life in one week? We should drive through a car wash.