“Code_red” by reinhardtloke

  • ©, , Code_red



Artist(s) and People Involved:



Artist Statement:

    The ritual of a woman wearing lipstick is at once a highly personal act of identity, yet common across cultures. What does it mean for a robot to replace the human hand in such an act? We apply a feminist approach to investigating how robots can collaborate with humans in personal grooming and bodily care towards a future where robots are ubiquitous in daily life. Our work addresses ethical issues of identity, agency, vulnerability and trust in human-robot relations. We explore these issues through cinematic film-making as provocations and speculative narratives.

    Code_red is a video artwork that portrays a solitary female figure awaiting the painting of her lips in red by a robot. In what seems like a simple, perfunctory action sequence by the robot, through a series of images that are deliberately intense and ambiguous, we aim to unsettle the viewer and call into question the integration of a robot in cultural rituals of feminine grooming and presentation.

    Introducing a robot into this highly personal ritual invites a critique of how biological and machine bodies could be reconfigured in the intimate zone of close contact. Deploying an industrial robotic arm is a defamiliarising tactic, intended to disrupt and open up thinking on how we weave robots into our daily lives and private, intimate acts. It is also part of our arsenal of creative practice of the disruptive feminine, a questioning of the construction of the universal female, with its culturally entrenched feminine modes of presentation.