Theun Karelse


Theun Karelse studied fine-arts at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam before joining FoAM, a transdisciplinary laboratory at the interstices of art, science, nature and everyday life. His interests and experimental practice explore edges between art, environment, technology and archaeology. Lately he has been creating research programmes that consist of fieldwork as a means of critical reflection. For this diverse teams are established to address specific topics in specific locations by in-situ prototyping, experimentation and direct perception.


Machine Wilderness

Can a machine operate at the power levels of biological organisms? Can this energy and building materials be sourced locally? Can machines take part in existing food webs (digest and disperse seeds)? What is their life cycle like (can they die and compost)?
Machines as we know them are man-made infrastructures that usually encroach into nature. They extend the internet of things to the animal kingdom, fashion landscapes according to men’s needs and far too often attempt to dominate, exploit and shape the environment. Machine Wilderness explores what our technologies could look like if they are native to our landscapes, part of material flows, food chains and layers of communication. In particular it looks at environmental robotics, designing ‘pseudo-organisms’ that relate to specific habitats. Theun Karelse designs artificial entities that work in harmony with ecological flows, rhythms, and processes.

9 November