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 down 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), domestic familiarity (Unproblematic Situations in Daily Communication), exploitation (Existence Precedes Essence) and emotional manipulation (Mirror Stage, Figure Study).
Echoes of Monologues, ANOMALY, Tokyo 2020 (partial)