On August 11th, 2013, Automata hosted a private reading of my script, Object of Her Affection, for invited guests. Object of Her Affection is centered on a woman, who in her search for true love develops intimate relationships with inanimate objects.
Object of Her Affection follows the emotional journey of protagonist, Andrea Lowe, after she has mysteriously fallen from a building. In her last moments, she reflects on her meaningful relationships starting with her first love, a baby’s blanket. As an adolescent, she loses her virginity to a bad-boy hunting rifle and subsequently becomes infatuated with the Berlin Wall. As Andrea evolves, so do her desires. In adulthood, she forms doomed relationships with monumental structures: a high-profile statue, tragic twin skyscrapers, and a bridge who cheats. Each of these relationships has a profound effect, shaping Andrea’s views on life and love. Finally, she finds solace in Roy, a crumbling tenement who ultimately fails her.
Automata is an arts organization located in the Chinatown District of Los Angeles, dedicated to the creation, incubation, and presentation of experimental puppet theater, experimental film, and other contemporary art practices centered on ideas of artifice and performing objects. Automata stands at the fulcrum points between objects and performance, artifacts and ephemera, magic and mechanics, artifice and interface.
Automata is dedicated to creating and nurturing new work that is engaged in cutting edge art practices, and in deep conversation with our contemporary culture of simulation and mimicry while embracing the aura of the handmade and hand-operated. They seek to radically redefine and re-contextualize the notion of object performance, locating it at the intersection of contemporary performance, media, visual art, sound art and experimental writing.
Automata has a particular interest in intimate viewing situations, similar to those that have been the provenance of traditional puppet theater and early film: living rooms, storefront windows, and tiny theaters. They are interested in the intimacy and informality that exists when the artists and audience can actually see each other.
Automata was founded in 2004 by artists Susan Simpson and Janie Geiser. Since that time, they have been presenting intimate performances of original work, film screenings of contemporary and historical avant-garde film, lectures, workshops, and exhibitions in a variety of spaces in Los Angeles. They have invited playwrights and composers, puppeteers and designers, visual artists, and new media experimenters to collaborate and create new works using performing objects. From 2007-2009 Automata operated The Manual Archives, a micro performance and exhibition space dedicated to newly invented folklore for the city of Los Angeles.