Charles Céleste Hutchins
Charles Céleste Hutchins was born in San Jose, California in 1976. In 1998, he graduated from Mills College in Oakland, California, where he studied electronic music with Maggi Payne. In 2005, he graduated with an MA from Wesleyan University, where he studied with Ron Kuivila and Anthony Braxton. He recently completed a PhD at the University of Birmingham, UK. In Sound Acts he presented the conceptual work "Sex Robot #1" on gendered and sexualised technologies, based on his own self-made robot, a shop dummy with a joystick mounted to its pelvis. The joystick controls a flight simulator running on a Raspberry Pi, which uses the Pi3d Python graphics library. The simulator shows a military drone model and, in the lower right hand corner, some footage from the US air force in Afghanistan. As the user manipulates the joystick, in addition to controlling the drone simulation, it also raises the ‘arousal’ level of the installation. When this crosses a threshold, the installation moans. As the level increases, the moans become closer together. After crossing a second threshold, it plays a different vocalisation indicating a climax and the simulation shows the drone to be firing a missile. The military footage shows a missile firing and hitting two targets.