It is 2083. There is no human contact in our food systems. Food manufacturing, like so many other essentials, has become a human exclusion zone. CAKE (an AI) and Merinda and M@ (humans) are researching and attempting to synthesise an experimental vitamin which supplements ‘the human touch’—’Human Touch Vitamin’, or ‘HT+’. Welcome to the experiment, you are the audience, but you are also our test subjects.
‘Fully Automated Human Touch’ is a sci-fi dance and installation work born from a disagreement between the creators, Merinda Davies and Matt Cornell, namely: can you taste the human touch?
Sharing our awe at the logistics, mechanics, and choreography of industrial scale automated food manufacturing (including its emancipatory power), while interrogating its impact on the human condition within culture and community, pleasure and connectedness, sensuality, intimacy and embodiment.
‘Fully Automated Human Touch’ takes many forms: live choreography, installation, video (in cinema and online), speculative food products, science conference poster presentation, code-based poetry publication, speculative fiction publication, and spoken text.
Some influences include—‘How It’s Made’ TV series, ‘BladeRunner 2049’ film, Timothy Morton’s book ‘Being Ecological’, Jane Bennett’s book ‘Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things’. ‘Fully Automated Human Touch’ asks: what is the fallout of eradicating human touch? What are there ramifications of setting the global food system to fully automated? Can we fortify our food with HT+ vitamin? Would the non-humans making the food need to know how to cook with love? Is love something that we can program? Could we industrialise intimacy? When it comes to food: can you taste the human touch?