Amazon Dance is a video performance, part of a research work that aims to study algorithms that are used in factories such as Amazon, in order to find the minimum time and most efficient way to arrange and deliver items in large warehouses, a process which is costly and time consuming. Although many of these tasks are performed by humans, their “routes” are perfectly predetermined based on algorithms and their movements are specific so as to achieve the goals of each shift: picking the maximum number of products.
Director, performer and visual artist Nico Angiuli brings to the stage the question of the big companies: Is a robot more cost-effective than human labor? And how does this translate to the performing body?
Nico analyzed such algorithms in order to create a form of choreographic “score.” How can the abstract space of computing and unseen calculations be represented through bodily movement and effort?
Together with Katerina El Raheb, choreographer and informatics researcher, as well as a group of three more dancers, they worked on this “translation” researching how such an algorithm could be embodied and represented in space. They wonder: Is executing a precise choreography, perhaps, awkwardly close to executing commands in the industrial space?
In the final piece, we see four human machines that perform the algorithm with their bodies. The choreography consists of stages that correspond to the different parts of the algorithm they use for the design of picking routes at warehouses. When all the stages are completed, the whole cycle starts again in a loop that lasts for one hour of labor.
This work was realised within the framework of the European Media Art Platforms (EMAP) programme at Onassis Stegi (GR) with support of the Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union.