Akeroyd Collection


Martine Syms, Mythiccbeing, 2018

Mythiccbeing is a work that sees Martine Syms using her own body to generate what she calls an ‘anti-siri’. Named Teeny, this interactive bot responds to audiences through text messages. Behaving like an antagonistic Alexa, she behaves in an exaggeratedly self-centred way. In doing so, the conventions of communicating with AI that we have come to expect are inverted. Suddenly, the demands placed on us when talking to Teeny mean we must consider their world and experiences.

When technology, and AI at the level of representation particularly, is already so racialized and heteronormative (the user interface designs are a reflection of a largely cis white male production history), this work co-opts the language and tools of technology to reveal the embedded ideologies of representation and their amplification in an increasingly mediated and automated world. As such, Mythiccbeing, (thicc because Teeny has hips) produces a counter space in which the cultural codes that Black women, in particular, are expected to heed in a world designed for white male bodies can be dissected and critiqued in more embodied ways for publics and users.

MediumInteractive video on LED panels
DurationInfinite loop
Editionof 5 + 1 AP