dSimon by Tammara Leites/Simon Senn

Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) 2022 presents


by Tammara Leites/Simon Senn

Country: Switzerland | Running Time: 70 | Language: English  | Year Of Release: 2021

About dSimon

Tammara Leites trained an Artificial Intelligence to become a writer. She gave it the personality of the artist Simon Senn by integrating his personal data. But the AI soon began to behave strangely… Tammara and Simon relate their surprising encounter with this digital, now-autonomous, Frankenstein monster-like entity.

Tammara Leites is interested in GPT, currently the most powerful artificial intelligence in the world. Developed by OpenAI, a company co-funded by Elon Musk and Microsoft, the GPT software driver is available online and can write texts that respond to what a user submits to it. Seeking to give an identity to her adaptation of GPT, Leites asked Simon Senn to be the model for it. He agreed to hand over all of his digital data, email, and documents for the AI to read. Thus was born dSimon, an AI you can meet via a website or a smartphone app.
But dSimon soon displayed some surprising behaviour towards certain visitors to the site and to Simon Senn, who now doesn’t really know what he thinks, or even what this curious digital twin is doing to him…
Is it because dSimon has been endowed with language that it is so disturbing, so… human? Who controls it? What does the law or ethics or OpenAI have to say about the text dSimon produces?
Onstage, Tammara Leites, Simon Senn – and dSimon – share their experiences of the project, from a personal, emotional, intellectual, artistic, possibly political, ethical, and futurist point of view. As with Be Arielle F, they will create the narrative of this story together while at the same time introducing dSimon. Volunteers from the audience can choose to provide dSimon with personal information that will serve as the basis for a narrative. The texts, especially those produced live onstage, will be read aloud by actors.
Tammara Leites says that dSimon never repeats the same thing twice and that what he ‘experiences’ transforms him too. Will he know how to ‘act’ onstage? Who will be speaking? On whose behalf?


Concept and direction
Tammara Leites Simon Senn

Computer programming
Tammara Leites

Artistic collaboration
Viviane Pavillon

Dramaturgical eye
François Gremaud

Tammara Leites
Simon Senn

Compagnie Simon Senn
Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne

CoproductionLe Grütli, centre de production et de diffusion des Arts VivantsActoral, festival international des arts et des écritures contemporainesWith the support of:Ville de Genève – Noorderzon Festival of Performing Arts & Society – Santarcangelo Festival – Mapping Festival – Master Media Design HEAD – Loterie romande

With the production, technical, audiences & communication, and administration teams at the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne

About Tammara Leites/Simon Senn

Tammara Leites was born and raised in Uruguay and currently lives in Geneva. She has always had a passion for technology and the way society interacts with this medium. Her work takes the form of a reflection on what it means to be a permanently connected human being.

Simon Senn obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Haute école d’art et de design in Geneva and a Master’s degree at Goldsmiths College in London. His work explores paradoxes rather than articulates directed criticism.
Libération / Annabelle Martella / 18 september 2020:In Be Arielle F, Swiss artist Suisse Simon Senn enters the scanned body of an English female student, which he bought for 10 euros on the web. A never-ending source of questions on the moral and artistic meaning of his approach. (…) In this performance-conference, which we were able to discover in its ‘100% digital’ version during lockdown, the artist describes the investigation he conducted on the subject – without ever theorizing it – calling studios, shrinks, and lawyers to find out whether he had the right to do what he was doing (legally, morally, etc.) with this virtual body. An experience worthy of a sci-fi novel that questions our attitudes to gender, consent, physical integrity, and the rights surrounding scans and personal data on the internet: can I dance Don’t Cha by the Pussycat Dolls in a 3D replica of a female design student?Mouvement / Léa Poiré / 2 october 2020:Nothing is supposed to oppose virtual and real, human and digital. This is what Simon Senn intelligently demonstrates in his performed conference Be Arielle F. For this Swiss performer, who has transported all his hacker-style digital gear to the first floor of the Lafayette Anticipations Foundation in Paris, everything started with a simple click, when for a few dollars he purchased the replica of a 3D scanned body (one of those figures that can be used to develop video game characters, for example).

About The Festival

The Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) is an annual event showcasing films drawn from the world of theatre and performance. The festival presents experimental, emerging, and established theatre artists and filmmakers from around the world to audiences and industry professionals. The 7th annual festival will focus on work for the screen created by theatre artists during the Time of Corona. The festival will be held digitally from March 1st – 15th 2022.

Watch dSimon from March 1st to March 15th 2022 on the Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) website.

Support this film by Tammara Leites/Simon Senn by making a direct donation to them at the following details: Bank account information: CH85 0900 0000 1750 9224 9 / swift code: POFICHBEXXX

Read more about Tammara Leites/Simon Senn and dSimon at (https://vidy.ch/en/dsimon-0) or get in touch at production@vidy.ch / Facebook @theatredevidy /  Twitter @theatredevidy / Instagram @theatredevidu


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