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You Can't Automate Me

You Can’t Automate Me (2020) is an installation by Katarina Jazbec & Angeliki Diakrousi, developed during a Summer Sessions residency in 2020.

You Can’t Automate Me stems from a collaboration with a group of workers (lashers) who do the heavy physical work of lashing and unfastening containers on container ships in the world’s most modern terminals at Maasvlakte, a massive man-made extension area of the Port of Rotterdam.

Unlike other jobs that require physical work at the terminals, welding cannot be automated. Katarina Jazbec and Angeliki Diakrousi were intrigued by the agency, sensory intelligence and finitude of a human body amid such automated environments. They invited welders to explore the movements they perform at work and their bodily experience of the port through a set of movement exercises borrowed from Feldenkreis, butoh, and deep listening.

The installation invites the audience to join the workers in their movement explorations and aims to evoke a shared embodied experience. What do such bodily experiences reveal? What, if anything, do office and physical workers of our service economy have in common?

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