Automatona Film

by Comino, Joanna

Film: 16mm 1981


Made after allegations that I walked like an 'alien from outer space' were confirmed by seeing myself move on film. If the jerky, spasmodic way in which I conducted myself was traditionally characteristic of robots and other humanoid replicas a spoof dilemma arose, namely how to presume on the human identity of others, with only surfaces to go by, when I was unsure of my own with all the depths of self awareness to rely on. To act instinctively, by means of triggers set off by various stimuli, is to behave, in some sense, mechanically, and to halt self-consciously in the middle of some natural but automatic process might provide justification for regarding oneself as a machine. Otherwise given your limbs etc., how could you use them without a manual?


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