And Who Is Useless Now? is an original theatre performance about a man, four robots, one slightly elitist artificial intelligence, and the transfer of responsibility to technologies.
While Wendy the A.I. is trying to use art to win humans’ acceptance as a thinking being, Florent, who shares the stage with her, is beginning to doubt his human mind. How much freedom and what human qualities are we willing to sacrifice for comfort? The show is inspired by the ideas of Alan Turing, the founder of modern computer science, and Marvin Minsky, a pioneer in machine thinking. They both believed the human mind was just a very complicated machine.
Audience: adult, children 6+
About the company
Ondřej Holba is a director, actor and teacher. A graduate of the Department of Mime at the Music and Dance Faculty at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (HAMU), he specialises in original movement theatre performances, contemporary circus and circus teaching. Since 2010, he has been an actor in the Circus Sacra theatre and has performed his original shows at festivals including Letní Letná, Cirk UFF, Cirkopolis, Mime Fest, Kremnické Gagy and many others. Holba collaborates with artists from around the world. His work focuses on contemporary circus and original theatre and the promotion of these international trends in the Czech Republic. In collaboration with Finnish director and clown Herne Väätäinen, he created original shows titled Still Life and And Who Is Useless Now? He is currently exploring the use of robotics and artificial intelligence in theatrical clown shows. His work is inspired by philosophical approaches to artificial intelligence (e. g., A. Turing, M. Minsky, etc.), fine art, music, and the use of light, and seeks to find links between these fields.
In recent years, he has directed the original shows The Cuckoo – Stayed Human Nevertheless (Kukačka – přesto zůstal člověkem, 2017) and Parasite (Parazit, 2019). In 2019, he completed his milestone project And Who Is Useless Now?, which was selected for the Circolaborative Tools and Circus Next+ European projects and the Czech Dance Platform festival.
Florent Golfier is a French dancer, performer and choreographer based in the Czech Republic. He studied acting in Nancy and dance, clown and physical theatre at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno. Together with Lukáš Karásek, Marie Gourdain and Zuzana Režná, he founded the physical theatre collective tYhle. With tYhle he co-created nine performances either as a choreographer or performer. He has worked with choreographers such as Karine Ponties, Kitt Johnson, Vít Nezval, Linda and Mathias Straub and Ondřej Holba. As an artist, he aims to connect with the fragility we all share, and from which we draw inspiration, honesty and power, and to help others to accept it as a precious part of ourselves. Based on this artistic approach, Florent searches for ways to connect initiatives across disciplines in order to work on acknowledgement and clarification of our present and future identities. His newest project, Babel Trilogy, continues with a series of linguistic and movement laboratories that he organises with Czech-German Psycholinguist Prof. Dr. Barbara Mertins.