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Beyond Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

7 January 201524 January 2015

Beyond Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is a performance-video environment fashioned from Elena Knox’s doctoral work in Media Art. Women, girls, dolls, and Geminoid-F, a Japanese gynoid robot, perform hyper-styled recitals of the stock figure of the hostess.

The 10 works, Actroid Series I, include a pioneering onscreen inquiry into the feminised futures implicit in the voice and body of Geminoid-F. They contain the first made-for-video scenes of an ‘Actroid’ being verbal: re-programmed, recorded, and puppeteered by the artist, the gynoid ‘speaks its mind’.

The works confront the hostess figure as a distilled marker of multi-national separatism, whose chronic, controlled, and profoundly questionable performance of hostile hospitality is currently being re-inscribed at the frontline of android development. The cheery, superficially compassionate, generic hostess is usually unable to speak for herself. The hostesses in Actroid Series I perform their own critique.

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