© Alamy

© Alamy

Simple as ABC #6:
Remote Control


2020 / ROBIN VZW & Donaufestival


If the shuttle weaves by itself and the zither plucks its own strings, then the architect needs no apprentices, the master needs no slaves. - Aristotle, Politics


2,400 Years ago, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle set out the idea of ’natural slavery’. Aristotle believed that some people are born to rule and others to be ruled as ‘living instruments’, who could be hunted down like wild animals if they resist their natural place in the order of things. Only a process of automation, he speculated, would bring this to an end.


Remote Control is an encounter between the artistic research of Ahilan Ratnamohan and Thomas Bellinck. In radically different ways, both artists have been addressing questions of labour exploitation, of social death and of the privileging, precarising and criminalising of different types of international mobility. The lecture-performance Remote Control is their first step towards a future collaboration on the automation and digitisation of border surveillance and manual labour.


by & with Thomas Bellinck & Ahilan Ratnamohan

media artist: Frederick Rodrigues

coproduction: ROBIN vzw & Donaufestival

with the support of: The Flemish Government & KASK / School of Arts of University College Ghent