VG2000 (2021-2022)

Title/Date: virtual-grill-2000 (2021-22).

Author(s): Sophie Reid-Singer (clunkk).

Place of Publication: “Shandy” at The Tivoli (Brisbane).

Format: Interactive projection artwork.


The virtual-grill-2000 (2021-22) was a virtual performance executed using system-time, projected large onto the side of the Tivoli amphitheater for Shandy Dance Party’s ‘Y-2-Gay’ new year’s party. A short-hand for VIRTUAL GRILL™️ 2000, the VG-2000 is the latest in hybrid femmebot/kitchen appliance technology—flipping effortlessly between fun-flirty party-girl and unrivaled transportable cooking experience. The VG2000 is a parody of the replicant dancers found in the sleazy nightclubs of Blade Runner (Ripley Scott, 1982) and a trend of films appearing in the 1990s such as Virtual Girl (1998) which feature VR simulated women programmed to fulfil erotic desires. In my parody of commodity culture, I have personified the masculine-marketed Australian BBQ culture as a half-woman half-grill—ironically pulling from obvious cues of cooking and sex as traditional domestic labours—serving VG2000 as a salacious being with a taste for celebration and community.

The VG2000 communicated with the crowd using text messaging, transitioned between dance routines, and paused for performers. To interact directly with VG2000 a user types at random using a keyboard in mock hacker mode, boosting the speed of the dancing animations which are timed using a live audio stream. At max-speed, the VG2000 transitions into grill time—taking the appearance of a Kettle Series Weber BBQ wearing a sexy red high heel. This is demonstrated in the machinima I shot and acted in below.


TLDR; The cyborg in this artwork is the VG2000.

Imagery of cyborgs in this videogame did not emancipate disabled peoples from the strict legal conditions imposed by the Australian Government.

This was unquestionably my ‘silliest’ cyborg. But the back-end featured many moving parts, and I spent many hours planning, coding, and showcasing her. I solidified my knowledge of c# by-way of resolving this artwork, applying all the skills I had developed during my candidature in her scripted debut.

I produced all the assets, but I began sculpting the VG-2000 from a low-poly 3D asset I purchased for $5 from CGTrader, then modified her with her prosthetic devices, hair, sunnies, and her iconic red heels. Her dance animations were ripped from Adobe’s Mixamo collection, but I animated the Grill myself. I applied the strategy of FFT I had been experimenting with to her animation controller, which added an additional element of presence both virtual and based in reality.

Baring a slight hiccup with the animation state triggers (which was salvaged with a hat over the projector lens and swift return to the Unity editor), the performance ended on a high note. As a narrative that unfolded over the night, The VG2000 was not installed with enough battery life to sustain dancing until the new year, but determined to be partying at midnight, VG2000 manifests a keyboard of her own and hacks herself out of the projection. She returns via the main projection on stage to countdown the crowd, exploding in a blaze of fiery glory befitting a self determined disabled woman at 00:00AM 2022.

Side Note:

I pursued my design drawing from several opportunities for puns including Virtual Twirl—a McDonald’s soft serve ice-cream with sunglasses, slender arms, and large bikini-bared breasts. I settled on VG2000 because I thought there would be more opportunities to augment her. I describe included components such as crack-proof and weather-proof nylon buttocks in a promotional video for the event I directed and starred in, which is below. Voice acting courtesy of Blake Howson. Pitches for products in infomercials by television personalities are fast-paced and full of double entendres while performed. This has made them suitable targets for internet parodies where aggressive marketing phrases are edited to exaggerate eroticism.

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