A video of an animatronic doll’s lifelike dancing to pop music has amassed more than 221,000 views.
The viral video shows a female-looking robot in a skimpy white dress, with a witch mask and dirt marks on her legs, dancing in front of a mirror at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York. The doll uses facial recognition technology to lock eyes with visitors as they walk around the room at the exhibit. While some see the doll as representing a feminist message, its creator thinks otherwise.
“I don’t want to tell you this work is about women because I don’t think that’s true,” Jordan Wolfson told Blouin ArtInfo. “What you have is a very classical relationship between the subject and object sculpturally.”
The doll is on display at the gallery until April 19. According to those who have visited the installation, the doll dances seductively, lip-synching Paul Simon, Lady Gaga, Sharon Robinson with Leonard Cohen and Robin Thicke. Wolfson’s voice is also heard saying, “My mother is dead. My father is dead. I’m gay.”
The doll, which has been in development since August, was created with the help of a special effects studio in California. Wolfson paid for part of the project himself which stemmed from a trip he took to Disney World’s Hall of Presidents. But he maintains that the work is not linked to the amusement park in any way.
“This artwork isn’t inspired by Disney World, or a trip to Disney World, or anything that exists in Disney World,” Wolfson said. “This work is about a physicality I experienced within my own body in relation to a third body, an artificial body.”
Wolfson, a renowned artist that has made a name for himself over the past decade, is known for his videos that fuse music, advertising, photography, painting and performance.
The doll can be seen on a one-on-one basis at the gallery which is designed to further intensify the sculpture’s gaze. For those that have seen the video, reactions range from confusion to awe.
“I'm really impressed with how fluid the arms, hands, and fingers move,” a YouTube user writes.
“Why the hell are people saying this is disturbing? It's actually really sexy and cool.,” another comments.
“I’m not interested in AI,” Wolfson said. “I’m not interested in cartoons. I’m not interested in computer animation. I’m interested in the experience of seeing something.”