What do machines sing of?, a multimedia installation by German artist Martin Backes consisting of a fully automated machine that endlessly sings top-chart ballads from the 1990s. As the custom-made computer program performs these emotionally loaded songs, it attempts to introduce the appropriate human sentiments. This behavior seems to reflect the machine’s desire to present itself as sophisticated enough to have its very own personality.
Martin Backes (DE)
Martin Backes (1977), a Berlin-based artist, designer, performer, composer, and lecturer. He has studied Media Art & Design as well as Sound Studies at the University of Arts in Berlin. In his work, he often uses media technologies to reflect certain functionalities, effects, ideologies, and human perception. Backes’ cross-border and experimental activity in the intermediate area between art and science ranges from sculptural and multimedia sound projects to interventions in public space and installations, as well as radio plays and computer/video works. He has presented his work at various international exhibitions and festivals.