Actroid Series II
2020–21, video and still portraits, 8-work series
Actroid Series II is a group of stills, composite photographs, video portraits and interactions that point up the potential uses of humanoid robots for AI monitoring and surveillance.
Focusing primarily on the Japan-designed Otonaroid, a model of female-appearing android meant for reception and simple conversation purposes, the works concern how we render restrictions more comfortable by giving social systems a human face.
In making many of these works, Knox invited acquaintances in Japan to sit as "eye models". Most often, the face ascribed to newly-available technologies is a young, pleasant, female face. So, Knox has given the robots “the male gaze”: her eye models are male. Male eyes look out from the artificial female face, in images of patriarchal surveillance.
The series continues Knox’s pioneering embodied critique of the aesthetic evolution of the service gynoid. It focuses on the social future of fem-bots, drilling into disquietude about companionship and loneliness (The Masters), surveillance (The Host, ご協力お願いします (Your Cooperation is Appreciated), The Monitor), suggestibility and control (Unproblematic Situations in Daily Communication), bio-artificiality (Speculative Schematics, Robust Solutions) and emotional manipulation (Mirror Stage, Figure Study).
Life/Likeness, ICC Annual, NTT ICC Media Art Gallery, Tokyo Opera City, Tokyo 2022-23 (partial)
Actroid Series II, Open Site 6, Tokyo Arts and Space, Tokyo 2021 (full series)
Art Machines 2, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, Hong Kong 2021 (partial)
Echoes of Monologues, ANOMALY, Tokyo 2020 (partial)