This creative response began as a completely different story and form. What excited me in the end was the concept of deletion and how it could be an interesting mechanic: where the only thing you can do in the world is delete. I thought about deleting parts of robots to make them better. Healing comes from taking away, from removing things.
Memories of Joseph Weizenbaum’s chatbot ELIZA came flooding back: where the (human) player is a patient talking to a Rogerian psychotherapist. But in this work I’m switching the roles and making the player the doctor, a doctor to robots…a doctor that can only prescribe deletions.
I conceived of the work as a branching narrative, and started writing it in Twine. With every robot patient, the player chose one of many deletions. But when I realised I wouldn’t be able to arrange an artist and sound designer I looked for another option. I played with Zeega and felt that I could get the mood I was after with that platform. So the piece transformed into a work where the player/viewer is imprisoned in the decisions of the deleting protagonist…which has its own effect on the experience and meaning.
View the full page Zeega here
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Christy Dena’s online-remix-narrative takes iconic images of popular culture and builds with them a strange world where the human fallibility is programmatically deleted. Both dystopic and playful, Dena’s work is an ironic reimagining of pleasure as a state of robotic flatlining, using tropes of science fiction to critique processes of social normalisation and increasing alienation from emotionality.