Beyond Zero and One is a hypothetical sequel to Neil Harvey’s Robbie. In 2045, during his mission to the International Space Station, NASA robotnaut 2 ”Robbie” is infected with a virus which caused corruptions within his cognitive architecture – he becomes unresponsive to his human colleagues and perceives his journey back to Earth as 6000 years of solitude in space. He awakens as R2X13, a new mind with the latest AI, but the data concerning his past as “Robbie” remains fragmented. The failure of the memory functionality begins to create doubts in R2X13’s mind the legitimacy of the bond with human he once cultivated; but he soon finds his answer in the form of a familiar melody, from a flute played by an old friend.
In using NASA footage to expand the Robbie storyline, my intention is to explore Robbie’s duality of identity through his memory: of artificial and natural, of utility and humanity. Drawing on Pudovkin’s notion of relational parallelism and leitmotif, my segment combines visual and audio tracks that vary between dissonance and resonance - to convey the conflicts of data Robbie has to process to retrieve and rediscover his past self.
Beyond Zero and One is the result of a class assignment during Yachun's study at Cornish College of the Arts in 2017.