댄싱머신: Dancing Machine a.k.a Dancing Teddy (2022)
Synthetic fur, cctv camera, motor, led lights, perspex, steel, wood, tennis ball, 195x 135 cm
댄싱머신: Dancing machine came to birth parallel to EJ Son’s fascination with the story of the artist-king Pygmalion of Cyprus and his sculptural waifu – fictional femme characters from non-live-action visual media (typically an anime, manga, or video game) to whom one is romantically attracted and/or whom one considers their significant other – of Galatea.
In Greek mythology, Galatea comes to life through the blessing of Aphrodite and has been replicated for centuries, and is mirrored contemporaneously in the commercial industry of love dolls: life-sized dolls in the shape of a human partner that are sought for companionship and/or sexual aid. These commercialised, silicone bodies reflect the demands of their market, with almost every aspect of the dolls being customisable: your wish is their command.
#zerotwodance was a dance challenge that went viral in South Korea in 2020; people filmed themselves imitating a clip of an anime character to a Vietnamese pop song, swinging their hips like a pendulum with their arms behind their heads. It was especially endorsed by the BJs (Broadcasting Jockeys) on a Korean live streaming site called Afreecatv. They would dance in celebration to ‘star balloons’ the users would send them.
The word ‘robot’ comes from the Czech word robota, coined by Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) in 1920. It is directly translated as “serf labor", and figuratively as "drudgery" or "hard work”.
EJ Son likes to imagine the idea of the creator behind these dolls to be a woman. They believe it’s of utmost importance to have diverse voices in visioning the future and are curious to see their imaginings. In their new exhibition, 댄싱머신: Dancing machine, they ask, If robots were in service to the ‘workers’ would that liberate them from ‘labour’? Is it possible to be free from the power structure? and Why do we apply human traits to non-human entities?