Thomas Kvam & Frode Oldereid (NO) Machine Project

robotic performance

The future will belong to the awaken machines. (Peter Sloterdijk)

Futuristic creatures shown in the film “A.I.” show how developing mechanical and digital technologies could influence the evolution of humans and robots. The Machine Project by Norwegian artists Thomas Kvam and Frode Oldereid demonstrates forms that might come out of this fusion of machine and man.

This is not the only connection between the Machine Project robots and film. While the basic movement of these robots is produced by the mechanical kinetics of their industrial bodies, another kind of movement is added by cinematic illusion, with synchronisation of voice and picture carried out with astonishing credibility. Video-projections of numerous facial expressions on a simple head-cast induce life and personality into expressionless form. The 5.0 robot, a cyborg with a pneumatic, spider-like body and a human head, engages in a speech (one that would make every politician green with envy), accompanied by an extremely sensual dance routine. And then it astonishes the audience once more — it changes sex! The 5.0 robot is in fact a biomorphic hermaphrodite, developed on bionic principles. Robot 6.0 keeps a vigilant eye on this discourse, and provides comments with which it “holds a cynical mirror” to 5.0. Its’ plump, worm-like appearance is less human than that of the 5.0, but the same could not be said of its’ behaviour.

Machines 5.0 and 6.0 remind us of the French neologism machine infernale — constructed with a simple purpose of destroying itself by exploding. But Norwegian robots explode only historical quotes — despite their threatening appearance they are completely harmless.

Thomas Kvam & Frode Oldereid (NO)

Thomas Kvam & Frode Oldereid are Norwegian artists who collaborate on robotic video and sound installations and performances. They exhibited on many solo and group exhibitions in Sweden, Norway, Greece, Island, Great Britain and Slovenia. The Machine Project developed through six different stages. They are currently working on two new projects: "Dream Machine" and "Dokumachine". Frode Oldereid graduated from The Norwegian Institute for Sound and Stage. Thomas Kvam graduated from Goldsmiths College, London and the Norwegian National Art Academy.