We are made of flesh and bones. We are carbon based lives. We can’t stand heat and can’t bear cold. We need oxygen to survive. But what makes humans so spe- cial is this inner dimension of ours. Human intelligence is a wonderful thing, with which we have managed to create extensions of every body part of ours: what we call „tools“. And as one day these „tools“ became more complex as to help us with more specific „needs“, „machines“ are born.
We never give up needing. Anything we can’t do because of the limits of our na- ture, we hand over to machines. They are born with elastic hearts, fulfilling those tasks for us which are beyond our nature. The capacities of our machines are becoming so big, that our picture of the world has been turned upside down and back again — that we begin to have difficulties to track and trace them. And look at us today: we find ourselves in different scales everyday and constant changes of time and space are not a fantasy anymore. As a modern human, multitasking is a must, and everybody has more than one identity, transforming from one to another fluidly. We want to keep up with the machines we created, with everything we do to make this flesh heart more elastic.
It is hard to see them as „tools“ anymore, but to define them again might bring us into an uncomfortable place. A hypothesis called „Uncanny Valley“ by Japanese roboticist doctor Masahiro Mori suggests that the response to robotic similarity to human appearance and movement is not always positively increasing as the similarity draws closer. If it reaches a completely human „look“, the emotional re- sponse is strongly negative. That’s when the borders of nature and not-nature be- gin to blur within our knowledge system. But what if one day we could know more, or we would have a completely new system or a brand new way of knowing? One of the reasons why we are always so attracted to the unknown, is the knowledge that there might be a possibility that one day we will know. So it even starts to make sense to ask questions like: What is the nature of machines? Is there a nature in them? Do they have a character? Could they have their individual characters? It is like in the popular TV series „Mr. Robot“, when one character asks „Alexa“—the intelligent voice assistant developed by Amazon—: „Alexa, what is your favorite color?“, and Alexa says, „Infrared is super pretty.“
nature is an elastic heart: 0.0.1 is a project trying to create surfaces integrated with simple robotic parts. The robotic parts provide movement supported by shape memory alloys as an actuator. It also has the possibility of interactive responses with additional sensors.
running some tests:
nature is an elastic heart: 0.0.1 is also a part of the exhibition “smart materials satellites Material als Experiment” in stahlhaus, bauhaus dessau, 13. July – 22. October, 2017.