Inferno is a participative robotic performance project inspired by the concept of control and the representation of hell.
From Dante’s Circles of Hell to theme parks such as Haw Par Villa’s Ten Courts of Hell, passing by Joe “the Mechanical Boy”, bodies are handed to eternal and external forces controlling and afflicting them. Those punishments and external powers, found in the depiction of numerous flavours of hell, suggests an infinite and mundane control loop under which the body will be forced to move endlessly. In Inferno, the « circles of hell » concept is a framework, a theme under which the different parts of the performance are regrouped.
The specificity of this performance resides in the situation where the machines involved in the performance are retrofitted on the body of raptured audience members cum performers. A select group of the public therefore become an active part of the performance, giving a radical instance of immersive and participative experiences. Shifting the exoskeleton’s command from the authors, to the computer, to the audience and to the performers, Inferno questions the nature of control – either machinic or human, either coerced or voluntary – where either utopian or dystopian futures radiate, both real and fictional.