Boris Debackere (BE), Jerry Galle (BE) VENTRILIO

Installation, 2019

VENTRILIO is an emotionally deprived AI on a quest for love. While the question “what is love” percolates through the machine, it becomes obvious that the answer to the question is as desired as the object of the quest. The installation consists of a custom-made 3D-printed ventriloquist doll controlled by a robotic arm, a Raspberry Pi and a loudspeaker.

VENTRILIO performs the age-old act of ventriloquism with a twist. Namely, the doll vents the voice of the AI while being controlled by a robot arm. VENTRILIO, the machine, learns by scraping sites off the web where humans leave traces of their deepest desires: dating apps, social media, Tinder and comments on porn sites. As a sounding board on the quest for love, VENTRILIO appropriates a form of critical ventriloquism and flirts with the unsettling feeling – the uncanny valley – by getting acquainted with an anthropomorphic doll.

Boris Debackere (BE)

Boris Debackere is an artist and researcher teaching at LUCA School of Arts, KU Leuven. He is currently serving as head of the V2_Lab in Rotterdam, an instigator of artistic projects that interrogate and illuminate contemporary issues in art, science, technology, and society. As a media artist, his primary interest lies in the interplay of art with a socio-technological framework. In the field of digital art, his practice has a multimedial character with a recurring key concept: to experience the materiality and performativity of a medium that might appear to be a virtual environment. Debackere received the Liedts-Meesen New Media Foundation award nomination in 2010, won the Georges Delete 2014 Prize for Best Original Music and Sound Design and received the 2015 Ensor Sound Design Award.

Jerry Galle (BE)

Jerry Galle explores idiosyncratic uses of image and language that are co-created with algorithms. The mediation of the world through ever profiling, falsifying and quantifying images and texts that are both bot and human generated. These images have had a dramatic impact on conceptions of art, humour, absurdity, politics, economics and language itself. His practice critically reflects this mediation using websites, drawings, electronics and manipulated texts, presented both offline and in the public space of the Internet. His work has been shown in MuHKA, Bozar, Museum Dhondt Dhaenens, British Film Institute, Wiels, International Film Festival Rotterdam, EMAF, International Film Festival Hamburg, Museum Dr. Guislain, Frankfurter Kunstverein and Ars Electronica among others.