Interview with a Cyborg
There is something slightly 'uncanny valley' about a conversation with Sarah Ruff, the stage half of
Patternfight Performance. Things teeter on the border between the familiar and the unreal. You're not quite sure how to react. Did she really have an artificial device inserted into her left arm? Has her collaborator, Ed Currie, really been a cyborg since he could talk? And while it's good to know that “It’s extremely liberating to be a female cyborg” I'm a bit less certain about that fact her “weapons are bigger than most men's.”
In Conference of Strange academic studies of our bodies' interaction with technology have been
combined with personal experiences and Patternflight's trademark technique of merging Sarah's jokey and clowning live performance with synchronised animation – like a cartoon that includes a real person. Appropriately, the body interacts with, and is extended by, the technology.
Summarised by Sarah as “a personal, paranoid and fantastical account of my experiences as a female cyborg.” She sets the scene: “The innovations we use on a daily basis are so very new when you consider the history of humans, yet quite often taken for granted. This piece is saying: wow, look at this technological revolution that is happening around us. Aren’t human beings a strange, dangerous and exciting species?”
Expect funny and thoughtful and sometimes dark. The show itself is staged in a weirdly familiar place: the Princes Mall. So you'll be able to pop-in to see the cyborg after shopping for shoes.