Martinus Suijkerbuijk, Øystein Fjeldbo

Meta.Morf 2024 – [up]Loaded Bodies / Kjøpmannsgata Ung Kunst / Performance April 20 /

Concert night! One ticket includes the whole night with three performances.
Student NOK 100 / Ordinary NOK 200: Ticket

21:00 – 21:40
Second Self Myriam Bleau, Nien-Tzu Weng
22:00 – 22:30
Turing Gaia: Composing the ((Non)Human) Martinus Suijkerbuijk, Øystein Fjeldbo
23:00 – 02:00
Astral Boombox DJ set! Apex Anima

(Prelude) Turing Gaia: Composing the ((Non)Human) (2024)


“(Prelude) Turing Gaia: Composing the ((Non)Human)” is the second chapter of the artistic research project “Turing Gaia.” In Composing the ((Non)Human), Fjeldbo and Suijkerbuijk have experimentally embedded the Thermodome algorithmic ecosystem within a performance framework, creating an experimental exploration of Thermodome’s algogenesis—the primordial algorithmic soup that entangles the agent’s behavior with the Thermodome ecosystem. 

The performance is an orchestration and composition of ((Non)Human) agency where the demarcations between the human and non-human entities are delicately and thoughtfully explored. At the center of this exploration is NPC-Markov: a functional agent implemented as a digital entity with a unique sensory suite, and guided by an advanced cognitive architecture. Within a meticulously crafted virtual environment, NPC-Markov’s interactions are on one side, governed by procedural algorithms, memory processing, and environmental stimuli. On the other, its interactions are guided and modulated by the parametric control of external factors, allowing for a nuanced invocation and modulation of NPC-Marko’s behavior.

NPC-Markov is equipped with simulated sensors that intricately collect data from its environment. These sensors, particularly attuned to environmental (digital) heat, play a crucial role in the live composition process. Heat, gathered from the surroundings, is experimentally used to guide the unfolding narrative and soundscape. This unique utilization of thermal data in the artistic creation allows NPC-Markov to respond dynamically to the environment’s subtle thermal variations. This approach not only enhances the interactivity of the performance but also embeds a level of environmental responsiveness into the very core of the composition, melding the digital and the physical in a harmonious symphony.

The performance integrates elements of live gaming, setting the stage for NPC-Markov’s autonomous journey through an intricate digital landscape, unfurling in real-time. This innovative strategy crafts a living, breathing narrative and a harmonious composition, both of which dynamically evolve based on the decisions made within the game. Such interactivity introduces a captivating layer of complexity, as each in-game choice subtly steers the unfolding story and shapes the evolving soundscape. This vibrant synergy of elements is a testament to the power of algorithmic composition, where sound transcends its traditional role as a mere accompaniment and becomes a vital, interactive player in the narrative. The performance thus emerges not just as a visual spectacle but as an immersive auditory experience, where the audience is enveloped in a world where sound and story intertwine and coalesce into a singular, organic entity.

Fjeldbo and Suijkerbuijk dedicate to a role as dynamic live orchestrators within this environment, both visually and sonically. They skillfully sculpt the Thermodome, transforming it into an interactive stage where the line between a live play and digital interaction blurs. In this unique setting, the NPC responds in real-time to the human performance, creating a symbiotic exchange between the virtual and the real. Simultaneously, the human performers resonate with and adapt to the NPC’’s ‘experience’. The piece fluidly transitions between spontaneously generated content and prearranged compositions, perpetually oscillating between a quasi-theatrical format and an immersive live concert experience. This continuous interplay creates a multifaceted performance space that redefines traditional stage dynamics.

“(Prelude) Turing Gaia: Composing the ((Non)Human)” represents a thoughtful exploration into the synergistic potential of AI and interactive gaming within the realm of performance art. This work offers a rich narrative journey, masterfully blurring the boundaries between observation and participation, weaving together elements of reality and virtuality.

Supported by:  BEK – Bergen Senter for Elektronisk Kunst, Komponistenes vederlagsfond, Trondheim kommune, Norsk Kulturråd and Fond for lyd og bilde.

Martinus Suijkerbuijk’s (NL/NO) diverse background forms the blueprint of his artistic practice. He holds a degree in Automation Engineering and Industrial Design. In 2017 he graduated from the International MFA program at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Arts, where he’s also currently a PhD candidate. His work is best understood as an experimental practice that connects, translates, and operates across the borders of different media, artistic genres, and disciplines. Within his practice, he explores the fringes of art, technology, and philosophy through the potential of alliances and collaborations. His technical background has enabled him to work across industries. He has been invited to present his research and work at art institutions (ZKM, Sónar+D Barcelona, MetaMorf 2020) as well as technology conferences (CHI 2018, Philips Trend Event). Presently his artistic research centers around the possibilities of Artificial Aesthetic Agents through AI technologies and gaming engines.

Øystein Fjeldbo (NO) is a Trondheim-based sound artist. He holds a master’s degree in music technology from NTNU (2017). His work primarily aims to shape android auditory expressions. On one hand, he transforms synthetic starting points into something more organic, while on the other hand, he utilizes “organic” sound materials, such as field recordings and acoustic instruments, abstracting them into something more synthetic-sounding.

With the group Future Daughter, he has released music on labels like Orange Milk Records, #FEELINGS, and Kropp Uten Grenser. His projects and collaborations, both in music and installation, have been presented at institutions such as Landmark and BIT Teatergarasjen Bergen, Høstscena Ålesund, Trøndelag Centre for Contemporary Art, Sónar+D Barcelona, and ArtScience Museum Singapore.

Header graphics: Video-still from (Prelude) Turing Gaia: Composing the ((Non)Human). Courtesy of the artists.