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“The Masters” [2021]

Elena KNOX

“The Masters”


A “character summoning device,” in which AI characters are presented by hologram and connected to the “smart home,” is waiting in the apartment for its owner to return. While relaxing in this room, visitors can talk to the character, and pry into the ongoing text chat between it and its owner. If you look closely, you may also witness something of an unfolding, ultramodern scandal.

“The Masters” was created as part of KNOX’s recent “Actroid Series II.” In this series, Knox examines a variety of situations and power relations posed by living with anthropomorphized technologies. Humanoids and AI characters created to serve as companions and simple human service providers are often clad in female representations, KNOX focuses on how assigning this image to a social system might be intended to ease the friction when we impose restrictions and limitations on something else.

The title of the work comes from the fact that the AI character calls the owner of the summoning device "Master-san (Mr. Master)," but why the plural “Masters?” Is it because the character can also be a “master” if equal communication with the AI character is realized? Is it because the digital can be infinitely replicated? Or is it because a third party can intervene as a “master?” Theoretically, this third party may be neither a human nor a character, but something else.

Cooperation: Lofaro Labs



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