On the first Wednesday of the month, the Austin-based debate and lecture series, The Dionysium, meets at the Alamo South Lamar for their monthly revel in honor of the god of wine and theatre. This month, however, the team of intellectual rabble-rousers are packing up their PowerPoint and their gavel and heading over to the Fusebox Hub to participate in the 2012 Fusebox Festival.
This month, following the general Fusebox trend of colliding art and science in revolutionary and transcendent ways, The Dionysium dedicates Wednesday night's performance program to everyone's potential binary-talking overlords: Robots!
The crack team of Dionysium staffers has assembled an impressive collection of Austinites and Fusebox presenters to explore their takes on those terrifying, emotionless robots who threaten to enslave us and burn the ever-loving humanity out of our sentient minds. (Does everyone share my distrust of these machines? Have you people even seen Terminator 2: Rise of the Machines???)
In addition to the musical accompaniment of Graham Reynolds and The Golden Arm Trio, the evening will include a robot-themed dance piece by local favorites Little Stolen Moments; a performance by the band Pony Trap and their robot drummer, Robot Baby; a presentation by Phil Soltanoff, the director of the fascinating Fusebox feature, An Evening with William Shatner (asterisk); and a sneak preview of the live radio serial drama The Intergalactic Nemesis' second book: Robot Planet Rising.
Again, with the robots rising to conquer us... I'm telling y'all!
Luckily, the culmination of the show is a head-to-head debate regarding the likelihood of a Skynet occurrence and the potential for robots to one day dominate humanity. Dionysium President L.B. Deyo will match wits with A.I. expert Mike Roberts who worked for NASA and understands a thing or two about robots and their nefarious plans.
When I asked Deyo about his preparations for the debate, he simply said: "My challenge for the debate comes primarily from having to debate Mike. My primary credential for this debate is my high score at Ms. Pac-Man. Michael's credentials include a stint at NASA. I'm screwed."
However, to calm my fears (that I know I cannot possibly be alone in), Deyo adds, "I will say that if robots do take over the world, your best bet is probably to spill Coca-Cola on them. I've never known a piece of electronics yet that could survive a Coca-Cola bath."
Until I hear otherwise, I'm trusting the President. Regardless of how the debate goes, he already gets my vote.
The Dionysium: Robots sparks to life Wednesday, May 2, at the Fusebox Hub. Tickets are available through the Fusebox Festival website.