Catherine Bell and Cathy Staughton’s collaborative film ‘Dog Robot Space Star’ 2023 is included in this years Mona Foma festival, organised by MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Catherine Bell and Cathy Staughton, aka The Two Cathies, have worked together on projects since The Portrait Exchange (2009), their first collaborative venture for Arts Project Australia. The creative partnership’s current project involves working exclusively with the infamous Boston Dynamics Robot ‘Spot’ during a six-month residency at RMIT Health Transformation Lab.
Dog Robot Space Star fuses art, film and technology. Bell’s Dadaist-inspired film explores the impact of COVID lockdowns on the creative psyche and the effect of prolonged, enforced, social isolation on marginalised and vulnerable communities. Staughton’s series of two-dimensional artworks investigate the artist’s passion for technology, and empathic relationship with ‘Spot’ the Boston Dynamics Robot. Situated together, the exhibition raises ethical questions about our duty of care to the technology that companions and serves us. Do we owe a debt of gratitude to the technological devices we bond with over extended periods of time? How should we respond when the technology we rely on malfunctions, becomes old and outdated, ceases and desists?