ALTERNATIVE FRIENDS: THE ONE WITH THE PROGRAMMABLE FRIEND
Set in a near future where automation has become commonplace, The One With the Programmable Friend takes as a point of departure new social realities of living with robots. Programmable and stereotypical, the robots’ behaviours reflect different characteristics of their respective owners/human friends, who hold contrasting views towards these algorithmic friends. As crises emerge in the plot, themes such as robot rights, employment and love are explored.
The 1990s TV sitcom Friends was used as a format to discuss the future. Through a series of exercises, activities and processes, authors of The One With the Programmable Friend became the script writers for an experimental, non-normative version of this popular representation of friendship, urban living, employment and love. The project was developed through Future Friends, a SpeculativeEdu workshop led by Jimmy Loizeau, Matt Ward, and Dash Macdonald of Goldsmiths, the University of London (UK) and James Auger, École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay (France).
The project was presented in SpeculativeEdu exhibition at the 26th Biennial of Design in Ljubljana.