At the end of 2022, the performance _p/\rc___, staged by the Shonen company, featured young people with disabilities, present and telepresent on stage, to create a new form of inclusive art in which the movements of bodies, whether able-bodied or not, are reinvented. In 2023, the Shonen company broke new ground once again with HIKU. Combining film installation and performance, this show produced an impossible encounter: that of the French public with Shizuka, Mastuda and Yagi, who had experienced radical social withdrawal, connected to three telepresence robots controlled from their Japanese homes.
In the world of contemporary art, a unique experience is emerging, challenging the limits of physical presence and exploring the possibilities offered by technology. HIKU, an innovative fusion of film installation and performance, creates an unexpected connection between the audience and hikikomori, staged by compagnie Shonen and designed by Anne-Sophie Turion & Eric Minh Cuong Castaing.
HIKU, in Japanese, means “encounter”. It is precisely this unlikely encounter that the project seeks to create. The protagonists, Shizuka, Mastuda and Yagi, invest the stage through telepresence robots that physically represent them on the installation site. These robots, piloted in real time from their living quarters in Japan, become extensions of their presence, defying the constraints of distance.
Mobile telepresence promotes social ties
Mobile telepresence promotes HIKU as more than just an artistic demonstration. It also serves as a means of exploring the realities of social withdrawal. The protagonists, having experienced radical isolation, use telepresence robot technology as a means of reconnecting with the outside world. It’s a creative exploration of how technology can be a bridge between isolation and society.
Pioneer and leader in mobile telepresence, Awabot deploys Beam® robots, produced in France, throughout the world.
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The Shonen company has succeeded in establishing Hiku as an artistic odyssey beyond conventional boundaries. By blending technology with performance, the project offers a captivating experience that awakens the senses and stimulates reflection. By pushing back the boundaries of physical presence, HIKU charts a new course for contemporary art, inviting audiences to rethink the very nature of human connection through the prowess of robotic telepresence.
Telepresence robots encourage ordinary and extraordinary encounters in common or unlikely places. Would you like to find out more about the deployment of machines in the service of human relationships? Contact us now!