In The Finite State Fantasia a mapping robot is installed in the exhibition space. The machine moves erratically, using its sensors to measure distance and bumping into obstacles to build a model of the space. However, the machine is actually invisible, a simulation. Instead of seeing the machine as a discrete object from the outside, visitors are presented with a representation of its senses; its flickering infrared trails and ultrasonic locators. Projected on the walls of the space is the machine’s own perception of its environment. The Finite State Fantasia draws out the dissonance between the ‘magic’ of technology and the technical reality by showing us how the trick is done while simultaneously re-representing the seemingly supernatural machine sensorium.
Tobias Revell is a committed artist and designer who works with film, mixed media and sculpture but also theoretically is being heard in the form of lectures, essays and papers. In his most recent work, he focuses on the interplay between mythology, magic and contemporary technology. He is Senior Lecturer in Critical and Digital Design at the London College of Communication, is currently working on his doctorate in the Department of Design at Goldsmiths and is one of the founders of the research and consultancy collective Strange Telemetry.
The Finite State Fantasia is a coproduction of STRP and Artfact/STUK – KU Leuven. The work has it’s Dutch première at STRP. Afterwards the installation in an adjusted format will be on view at De Brakke Grond as part of FIBER Festival 2017 (12/05 – 1/07).