Nico Angiuli (IT) & Katerina El Raheb (GR)
Amazon Dance – The Picking Algorithm
Video performance 57 min, 4K-16:9 color/ sound, 2021
Amazon Dance is a video performance part of a research that aims to study algorithms used in factories such as Amazon, for finding the minimum time and the most efficient way to arrange and deliver items in large warehouses, which is a costly and time consuming process. Although many of these tasks are performed by humans, their routes are perfectly predetermined based on algorithms and their movements are specific to achieve the goals of each shift: picking the maximum number of products.
The performance questions whether human labor or robotics is more cost-effective in corporate contexts and how this relates to the human body in motion. Algorithms are transformed into a choreographic “score,” a structured plan guiding dance movements, effectively expressing abstract computing concepts through bodily motion. The performance features “human machines” enacting warehouse stages and cyclically depicts these actions, lasting an hour.
Nico Angiuli is a visual artist, performer and film director. From 2017 now on, is an external visiting professor of Performing Arts at the Fine Arts Academy of Bari in Italy. Since 2006 has collaborated with Stalker group, Osservatorio Nomade project, and Ilmotorediricerca cultural association on trans-border research and projects between Italy, Albania, Spain, and Greece. In 2011 he starts a series of sculptures, photos and performances titled Incarnatio Duabus Rotis Rotatis, based on the personal sketchbooks of the Arte Povera artist Pino Pascali.
Since 2009, Angiuli has been working on labor related issues and research, involving farmers, dancers, philosophers, scientists, and students; and developing several projects as Ma Vai a Lavorare! (performance; Venice, 2009); The Tiles Are Intentions (collective performance; Venice, 2010); The Tools’ Dance (video archive of agricultural gestures; 2010-2017, IT/ AL/ ESP), also presented as collective performance at Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan, produced by CareOf and curated byMartina Angelotti (60min, 2017).
In 2015, he realized Tre Titoli, an experimental movie realized in southern Italy, in the homeland of Giuseppe Di Vittiorio (founding father of the Italian trade union CGIL); where the memory of peasant struggles and new forms of enslavery are linked in the wake of post-Latifundism and profit. The film has been shown among others at 16th Rome Quadriennale and the 2nd Kyiv Biennale.
In 2019, he has been granted with the 3 rd edition of the Italian Art Council Prize, for the realizing of The Human Tools (roundmovie installation, 74 min. 2019): a movie which relates ancient and modern forms of slavery to artificial intelligence and robots. Then Angiuli has been invited in Athens in the 2021, by the Onassis STEGI Foundation to work on his new project Amazon Dance (videoperformance, 60min 2021), as winner of the EMAP-European Media Art Platform Prize.
Katerina El Raheb is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Performing and Digital Arts at the Fine Arts School – University of Peloponnese in Greece in “Informatics Applications in Performing Arts”. She has collaborated as a Human Computer Interaction researcher with the MADgIK lab at the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) and Athena Research and Innovation Center since 2009. She got a professional Dance Diploma from Niki Kontaxaki dance school in 2009, and has collaborated as a dance artist with Yelp Dance Co., Periigites, Ηamsa, Kinitiras Studio – Κινητήρας, and Onassis Center as an EMAP resident. With interest in human movement, embodiment, improvisation techniques, and the social and cultural contexts where dance comes from, her practice and research are focused on studying and creating movement vocabularies in physical and digital spaces. She holds a PhD from the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications (NKUA) on “Conceptual and Experiential Dance Languages: Representation and Interaction”, and an MSc. in Advanced Information Systems, from the same department. She completed her BSc. in Chemical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens. As a Human-Computer Interaction researcher she worked in several EU and national funded projects related to design and development of digital applications to culture such as BRIDGES, Aria, Transition to 8, DERC, WhoLoDancE, eCultValue, DL.org, e.nventory and published a number of articles in international journals and conferences.