The cult status “Blade Runner” was elevated to in the 80s generated a series of moral issues, still relevant today. The notions of digital intimacy and emotional fulfilment seem to grow hand-in-hand with the development of technology. Do people, through the assistance of the state-of-the-art appliances, seek to bypass the efforts of genuine connection?
Our chaotic and fast moving lifestyles don’t allow us much free time: is it actually absolutely normal and rational to seek sexual comfort in a device which already knows the individual needs of the person? The simple answer is yes. As a result, welcome to the 21st century in real life - sex robots.
BIBI is like no other robot. BIBI can be whatever the client wants it to be, regardless of the human’s sexual orientation. BIBI is so sophisticated that it is not only a sex toy, but also a life companion which will embrace all of its master’s fetish games with equal enthusiasm as reciting Shakespeare, as desired.
There is however a small problem in this consumerist utopia. BIBI eventually begins to develop true emotions for its master, contrary to the rules of the game. This is the moment when all the moral complexities which had until now lurked in the shadows flow to the surface with a vengeance. Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics” (obedience, service, no physical attack on a human being) which until then had been tacitly accepted, now carry huge moral issues. When is a creature deemed to be conscious and with certain rights? To what extent conscious robots should be exposed to tasks they no longer wish to execute? What does it mean to be human at all?
None of these questions have easy answers and who would even attempt to answer them? Petar Miloshevski is brave, “crazy” and talented enough to tackle such an emotionally laden topic by giving it a visually striking treatment in the form of a solo-performance. He brings BIBI the robot to life, giving it sex appeal, complex emotions and great deal of toughness.
Miloshevski’s performance is violent, cruel, but also at times very gentle, displaying a level of self-possessed composure and discipline usually characteristic of an actor with much more experience behind him. The way he interprets his own text is immaculately synchronised with his own original choreography, and the emotional charge he conveys to the audience has all the more impact for it.
The Passion according to BIBI is a small masterpiece of a sort few will have ever witnessed. London’s Evening Standard listed this performance in the Top 10 shows at this year’s Camden Fringe Festival, a testimony to the impact this young artist single-handedly managed to achieve.
Masterful is an adjective which probably does not even begin to describe the impression left by this performance, where Petar Miloshevski manages to turn BIBI into much, much more than just a sexy “Replicant”.