“A person in a labcoat will come and collect you”
Mysterious and eye opening from beginning to end. iAM 4.0 is an adventure into the world of technology that is surprisingly close to our version of reality. The audience is invited to take part in a trial of the new ‘iAMs’. Grown from human tissue but without our higher cognitive function, trained to take audience instruction and you get to test one.
Beginning with a curious morality question, varying with different audience members, your answer places you in a team with which you work together to instruct your iAM. So, are you empathetic? creative? rationale? And how does that reflect on how you instruct your iAM?
iAM 4.0 was an experience with a moments of amusement and moral questioning, how far we would all go to have the next best tech? iAM 4.0 was a triumph of participatory theatre. For children, iAM 4.0 is like a game winning points against the other teams, dressing them, naming them. But for the adults a discernibly more psychological experience was had, deciding whether the hour long experiment is more amusing or disturbing. Impressively devised so that we all question how we use this new tech that is essentially human.
Knowing that the iAMs are actors begins to fade away and it becomes difficult to discern reality from the theatrical and the iAMs from the humans. How far would you go with your iAM? Would you allow them to get ‘hurt’ for you?
A fascinating piece of theatre that shouts at you to sit up and listen, be aware of the direction our technological lives are heading in and just how much we depend on tech in our everyday lives.
As the different teams compete in exercises and win points we all begin to question whose in charge? We were all following instructions to control our iAMs, but the obvious dependence upon them to ‘win’ the given game reminds us all of the control our technology has over us.
There is an underlying suggestion technology echoing slavery and a system that controls both the slaves (technology) and the owners (us). This suggests that in the way that slavery was a controlling part of everyday life in the past, human beings are becoming slaves to technology and moving to towards creating technological slaves in our own image. A slightly ominous but apt undertone to the games and laughter of the show.
Co- creators Helen Thompson and Mel Cook have succeeded yet again in creating something worth talking about. iAM 4.0 is a unique experience with impressive performances by all actors involved, both the iAMs and the professors leading the ‘trial’.
Due to its success, iAM 4.0 is touring and can be see next at the Southwark Playhouse:
Most notably, a charity performance in aid of Grenfell victims and families will take place on 9th July at Grenfell neighbours’ The Playground Theatre, Unit 8, Latimer Road, W10 6RQ
I AM 4.0 can be seen until 26th August 2017