Thorolf Thuestad

For one – For many.

Anthropomorphism is typically described as the act of ascribing human behaviour or characteristics to non-human entities. I view anthropomorphism as a psychological manifestation of what our experiences are doing with us on an emotional level, from its probable cognitive purpose of categorizing and understanding our surroundings and fellow humans. As such the phenomenon is particularly interesting to me because of its inherent and beautiful irrationality.

This work I will bring to the workshop examines the perceptual strategy of anthropomorphism as an approach for generating artworks, with a specific focus on machine empathy.
It will attempt to evoke what may be considered an irrational human trait; machine anthropomorphism.
This will be done by constructing several kinetic sculptures and giving them a movement pattern consisting of (seemingly) goal-oriented movements, where movement is visible, with the aim of instilling a sense of machine agency and the possibility of empathy with the machines in the audience.


My basic goal for the workshop is to determine whether and algorithmic control system can make sense for controlling a set of kinetic sculptures that have an inherently limited range of moments. After all there are only a few actuators involved in each simple machine. Can they collectively achieve movement patterns expressive enough to warrant the generation of complexity through generative systems?


If yes.
I also hope to investigate (possibly over the course of the workshop), how a machine/computer interpretation of human irrationality may manifest itself by exploring how generative systems might be used
to mimic (inconsistent/irrational) human decision-making processes to create either a time-based transmedial composition with activities generated and shaped depending on the different «moods» of the
generative control system, or by using the same mechanisms to facilitate a continuously generatedmovement pattern for each sculpture that is influenced by the activities of the other sculptures present as
well as the changing moods of said sculptures.
The hope is that the audience will experience empathy towards the machines as a result of their movement patterns and possibly experience a feeling of intelligence or agency in the sculptures as a result of the generative systems determining the movement patters.


{function: proposal, keywords: [anthropomorphism, human, non-human, emotions, empathy, cognition, irrationality, generative, machine, kinetic, sculpture]}

Thorolf Thuestad is a sound artist, composer, sound designer, performer, sound and art technician. 


Thorolf has worked extensively with stage arts, contemporary music and sound installations, and has been part of many award-winning stage productions.


He is a specialist in the realisation of electronic and electroacoustic music, and has worked extensively with live electronics in contemporary music.


{kind: biography, persons: Thorolf Thuestad}

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date: Jun-2018
author: Thorolf Thuestad
event: Thresholds
place: Lydgalleriet