Making Art in 2017: Courtney Hunter on Splintered Glass
Name: Courtney Hunter
Show in 2017 Festival: Splintered Glass
Role: Choreographer, Performer
Past Festival shows: This is my first time self-producing and choreographing for the Fringe Festival. For my guest artists, The Blind Faith Dance Company, it will be their third time showcasing in the Fringe Festival.
FringeArts: Tell us about your show.
Courtney Hunter: Our show explores the concept of reality and what humans perceive reality to be through three different stories. My piece “Wouldn’t you, if you could?” specifically explores the ethics of Artificial Intelligence and it gets at whether or not manufactured consciousness is any different than naturally occurring consciousness. Robots, to an extent, already exist around us and the world is already full of automation, but one day, humanity might have the capacity to develop artificial consciousness and intelligence. If we eventually have that capability, should we use it? Is it right and where is the line between scientific exploration and playing god? Once the artificial consciousness is created, how is it any different than human consciousness?
The concept for this piece was inspired by the HBO Series Westworld and the film Ex Machina. After researching further, I learned of the Turing Test. The test, completed in 1950 by computer scientist Alan Turing, observed the ability of machinery to exhibit intelligence indistinguishable from human form. After learning of the Turing Test, I started to wonder what it would mean if something passed the test. At that point, what makes them different from humanity?
FringeArts: How have your interests in or approach to art making changed in the last year?
Courtney Hunter: This is my first time choreographing and producing. I was a dancer my entire life and upon graduating high school, chose a career path in the retail industry, so this is totally new to me. It’s always been a dream of mine to choreograph and self-produce and now that I am, it’s a whole new world for me. What I’ve learned so far is that there is always opportunity to tie the smallest motions and choreography back to the larger concept. I think that when you do, it adds layers to the story and reinforces your statement.
FringeArts: Tell us about an instance from 2017 when your interaction with art provided some much needed solace or refuge from outside troubles.
Courtney Hunter: This project has been a goal of mine for a few years now and after finally taking it on it has taught me so much. I love the career I’ve chosen, but I think it’s easy to get caught up in work and crafting this piece has reminded me that I am more than my career. It’s important to live life that way. Taking a risk with this has made me more confident, it’s helped me become a better project manager and it’s helped me to more efficiently solve creative problems. Most importantly, its made me want to tackle all of the other things that are goals of mine, but that I often talk myself out of pursuing. Ultimately, I’m learning a lot about myself and having a lot of fun doing it.
Courtney Hunter and Guest Artists
$20 / 60 minutes
Sept. 16 @ Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street