EMPATHY SWARM, CURIOUS TAUTOPHONE AND DR. DOPPLERS MACHINE
Tuesday - Friday
2 p.m. - 7 p.m.
and by appointment
EMPATHY SWARM, CURIOUS TAUTOPHONE
AND DR. DOPPLERS MACHINE
„HAL, despite your enormous intellect, are you ever frustrated by your dependence on people to carry out your actions?
HAL 9000: Not in the slightest bit. I enjoy working with people.“
[extracted from: 2001: Odyssee im Weltraum (1968), HAL: Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer]
Digital technologies are increasingly permeating all aspects of our lives. Self-learning programs based on algorithms not only influence our behavior but are also increasingly granted authority to make decisions that have far reaching consequences, not only for our individual lives but for society as a whole. How objective are these programs really? What laws do they follow, and who profits from them? In order to create rules for how to implement new technologies, we need a kind of knowledge that goes beyond how these technologies are used.
This project postulates a new approach: a continuously developing system of autonomous robots that act as an interface between humans and machines forms an ecosystem for the coexistence of both species in a democratic society characterized by empathy and respect.
EMPATHY SWARM is an emergent system of autonomous robots that acts as a human machine interface and creates an ecosystem of man-machine cohabitation. The swarm is a society of robotic creatures based on the equality of all members and constantly negotiates and balances the needs of all individuals. In its role as a human machine interface the robotic system is simultaneously activating and reacting to the emotions of the human actant. While the swarm expresses itself through its movement, the human responds subconsciously through motion and facial expressions revealing their emotional state. Together these mechanisms create a bio-feedback loop which shows the interdependence of both species.
On another level, EMPATHY SWARM defines its very own definition of what it means to be a utility apparatus, which is based on the idea of machine education, leading away from an optimization concept of human set goals in the form of machine learning. Instead the idea of self-drive and self-determination of the robotic machine is implemented which does not evolve from a position of suppression and machine revolution against human supremacy. On the contrary, EMPATHY SWARM gives space for the vulnerability of the robotic offspring and fosters the careful convergence of both species into an ecosystem and society of empathy and compassion for each other and among themselves. The human and robotic mind are merged into an extended hive mind that is a source of information and inspiration for future societies and can be utilised as a preventative medicine for a dystopian future.
SWARM DRAWINGS is both a robotic installation and the outcome which this produces. As an infinite reservoir of inspiration the swarm drawing robot is capturing the impressions and possibilities of the behaviours of a swarm. Closely related to the EMPATHY SWARM series, this work is reinterpreting in its very own way how an algorithm can try to capture time and movement showing patterns and structures that are underlying the swarm society over time. The work asks questions about the robotic ability to be creative and to express its own understanding of the reality of its own species.
A field of light moving simultaneously with a beam of sound, both emanated from one source: a shiny metal tripod robot that is spinning a speaker around two axes. Like a swirl of sound and light the visitor is drawn into the piece with all his senses and finds himself enveloped in a transforming spatial sound sculpture. A moment of precious intimacy is created and a door between the subconsciousness of the visitor and the machine is opened, both aurally and visually. The decidedly non-anthropomorphic robot is the source of this transcendent atmosphere and shows that the Megatautophone is as much an apparatus of art as it is a tool for music and an instrument for psychology and physics.
The name Tautophone derives from projective auditory tests developed by psychologists Skinner, Rosenzweig and Shakow that can be understood as a form of Auditory Rorschach Inkblot where a sequence of vowels is repeated in an attempt to trigger latent speech hidden in the listener’s psyche. The Tautophone seems to be curious, motivated to explore its surroundings and to learn. It reflects the human capability to feel attachment to inanimate objects as already demonstrated by psychologists Heider and Simmel in 1944 and speculates about the human desire to give birth to new forms of life as part of a subconscious reasoning surrounding mortality. Tensor fields expresses the mathematical representation of the visual environment creating a new form of continuously changing inkblots of light.
Using the physical phenomena of directional sound as a medium of robotic expression, the unusual, even uncanny nature of hearing these auditory hallucinations opens the observers perceptual engine and intensifies the multitude of subliminal stimuli. Finally CURIOUS TAUTOPHONE deals with the basic structures that are connecting reality and possibility, the role of the robot being to re-calibrate the cognitive tissue that binds man and machine.
DR. DOPPLERS MACHINE explores spatialisation using the Doppler Effect. DR. DOPPLERS MACHINE is a “persistence of hearing robot”, think of “persistence of vision” (POV) and apply this to sound. The robot has two arms two meters apart each holding a speaker, these speakers spin up to speeds of 500RPM. At this speed it is able to create 16 virtual speaker positions per second allowing the work to be hyper spatial. Adjusting timed audio pulses I am able to make the audio seem to be moving in any direction of the circular rotation. Light pulses stretching along each arm create a separation between vision and hearing further enhancing the sonic effect. The mind does not fully understand why a sound can be in opposition to the light and while the conscious mind can see and hear it the unconscious mind fixates inducing a subtle mesmerizing experience. Without the timed audio pulses music is also sonically altered due to the Doppler Effect.