Emotional machines – composing for unstable media.

Thorolf Thuestad

In partial fulfilment of PhD in artistic research
The Grieg Academy, Department of Music, Faculty of Art,
Music, and Design, University of Bergen, 2021

The artistic research project Emotional machines - composing for unstable media explores how non-representational kinetic objects may afford affective and emotional responses, in particular experiences of kinship and relation between an audience and animated objects. Further possibilities for artistic expression are opened through composition and dramaturgy, in works where the animated objects perform alongside human performers and other media, such as light and sound.

How may such animated non-representational physical objects be developed? How does animating the physical objects change the potential for experience of kinship and relation between audience and object? How does context modulate the potential for experience of kinship and relation between audience and animated physical object? How does the potential experience of kinship with the animated object differ for the creator of the object, and audience?

These questions have been investigated through the creation of a set of animated kinetic figures. These figures have performed in a series of artistic presentations such as gallery exhibitions and stage presentations. The artistic research concludes with two complementary public artistic presentations taking place in bergen in June 2021; a time based stage production at Cornerteatret and a gallery exhibition at Lydgalleriet. The presentations are considered connected and have the common title For one – for many – for all.

This is an exposition of the research that presents the kinetic figures, the process of developing them, the questions they have contributed to explore, resulting artistic works (with particular emphasis on the final artistic presentations taking place in June 2021), the additional artists contributing to these public presentations, and a series of reflections resulting from the research.


You may enter the exposition by clicking here: