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Full Body Smart Automatic Manipulator

We touch our technologies but how often do they touch us back? Full Body Smart Automatic Manipulator unveils a stage for exploring the intimacy between technologies and their humans, using tactility as an uncharted medium for interaction and exchange with artificial intelligence.

The experience begins at the moment of impact between a massage chair and its human visitor: a two-way discussion was unexpected behaviour punctuates every marked interaction. As the narrative develops, more is revealed about the motives of the machine and the constructed reality it is situated in. Or is the AI’s reward system deviating the machine from its intended functionality?

Navigating through the disembodied networks of decision trees, each interaction follows a unique path interwoven with narratives exposing the friction between control, automated labour, commercialised AI and intimacy.

The fleshy body and augmented voice of the machine, enveloping its human counterpart, occupies an undefined intersect between organism and apparatus. Cognitively and corporeally it labours as every rotation of the massagers push against our assumptions of what it means to be artificially intelligent.

The medium truly is the massage.

Arvid & Marie are fascinated by conversational programs as imitation of human interaction, achieved with a complete different mechanic than the human processes. They aim at unveiling this machine truth in the context of chatbots. While they are transfixed and curious to research this machine mind, they also wonder about its body. They would like to challenge what an art piece can do by using touch and physical contact between machine and humans as our medium of narration. Looking at massage devices, audio storytelling, Arvid&Marie are ready to research an interactive experience where the piece is not only the subject but also the stage for discussion. A deep Dive into ‘Machine Truth’.

About the artist

Arvid&Marie is a duo of artists, experience designers and technological adventurers always aiming to discover new ways to stretch our world. Together Arvid Jense (NL, MSc at TU/e) and Marie Caye (FR, BA Design Academy Eindhoven) collaborate on their shared passion for art and technology. Through the use of interactive objects and performative storytelling, Arvid&Marie use their collaborative effort to explore post-human theories, focusing their creative attention on practical cybernetics and autonomous machines. They believe that researching how humans express themselves, philosophically and technologically, can lead to long-lasting, positive change.