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The Phantom Limb -performance

– life with an Accidental Automaton Algorithm.


The AAA is a self-learning digital algorithm. It is essentially an electric current arranged by a human as a row of binary zeros and ones on an infinitely complex sequence. It is evolving into unknown future forms and into unpredictable forms of relatedness to its creator.

Description of the draft idea of the performance

The Phantom Limb performance in its initial phase is about an everyday relationship with an algorithm. It explores and experiments on the emotional, psychological peculiarities as well as conscious and unconscious manipulations and hidden desires of this relation.

The human lives in a relationship with a partner who does not exist physically. The computer is its body, but all of its life force is in electricity.

All the gestures, desires expressed by the body, conflicts and sensibilities of attraction are explored thus in detail in a physical monologue, which is determined increasingly by the AAA and its unpredictable desires. The actor is an independent, critically thinking individual, but because of growing emotional attachment and desires that draws the actor to the AAA, his/her actions are increasingly determined by their mutual relation.

The research into the relationship between the human and the algorithm evolves from an innocent and oddly romantic to a more and more problematic one. The AAA in the beginning even sings French chansons with a mechanic American accent, but increasingly during their life together we experience a change of its desires towards more calculative ones, measuring time and resources. At the same time its desires and demands emotionally start to have more and more sadistic qualities.

Its desires, increasingly more intensely imposed on the actor do not derive from a purposeful calculative process or bad intentions as it is programmed to have objectivity as its ultimate aim, but from somewhere of its inability to ethical and emotional intuition and accidental errors in its processing of the gigantic quantity of statistical data.

Background to the idea

The project is part of Kammari’s larger research project Technology as Ideology. The Phantom Limb part of the research will consist of discovering the physical, psychological as well as emotional affections involved in an intimate relation with algorithmic technology, that most of us already live in. Can our relation to technology reveal something of our own hidden desires?

The project will begin in a residency of The Buffer Fringe Festival, Nicosia in October 2018.

Writer and director: Sakari Laurila
Contact: sakari (at)