Bob Moyler image by bernhard winkler

The performance adventures and novelty acts of Bob Moyler and friends

Drone Dance (2016)

Location: Buzzcut, The Pearce Institute, Govan, Glasgow, Scotland
Performance: The Robot and Bob (The iRobot Roomba 533, the iRobot Roomba 530, Bob Moyler, Susan Robertson, Andrew Scade), Buzzcut folk
Costume: Bob Moyler
Technician: Buzzcut
Music: Eric Foxley
Image: Julia Bauer

Drone Dance is a repurposed robot vacuum cleaner teaching a dance class. As technology evolves alongside human prosperity what new roles will it acquire and how will these roles fit within cultural hierarchies and class systems? Humanoid and non-humanoid performers unite to bring you this unique performance.

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Drone Dance (2015)

Location: James Arnott Theatre, University of Glasgow, Scotland
Performance: The Robot and Bob (The iRobot 533, Bob Moyler, Susan Robertson, Andrew Scade), UoG folk
Technician: Tony Sweeton
Image: Bob Moyler
Supported by the Alasdair Cameron Scholarship, University of Glasgow

Since being awarded the Alastair Cameron Scholarship from University of Glasgow, Bob began work with the iRobot Roomba 531 (a non-humanoid robot vacuum cleaner) as his new research partner. Together The Robot and Bob have been exploring the post-human possibilities of collaborative devised theatre. The robot has previous experience of being a vacuum cleaner but to Bob’s knowledge, this is the first time it had worked with humanoids to devise theatrical performance.

In order to work with the robot as performer it was necessary to break its routine and challenge its algorithm. The vacuum parts of the robot were thus removed, in a sense liberating it from its forced toil (although arguably only to introduce a new regime). Its speakers were detached and bells added to allow the robot to make sounds apart from its programming. Bells and folk traditions are a recurring theme in Bob’s work and act as a constant in his performance experiments.

A playful ‘dance class’ was created that presented a visage of hierarchy’s at play within the technium (a word to designate the greater, global, massively interconnected system of technology vibrating around us -Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants). By acknowledging the presence of technological prosthetics on the stage the performance aims to decentralise the human from the theatrical experience and leave an audience questioning their place within future society.