Tove Kjellmark

Darkleaks (2013)

Darkleaks is an interactive artwork that invites visitors to confess and share their private, ‘dark’ information with a machine. Although the user remains anonymous the information does not remain private, but is shared by a kinetic, robotic, sculpture elsewhere in the exhibition. The work acts as a platform in order to open up a dialogue between human and machine. However, what is interesting to consider is that the machine is something of a facade, the robot and the program are nothing but puppets offering a sense of security between the visitor that is confessing and the visitor that is listening.

 Talk (2016)

Two robots with uncanny humanoid faces and strange skeletal bodies sit in a room, discussing a disturbing dream. As a visitor enters the room, the robots respond by moving their eyes, then turning their heads and speaking, as if an intruder has interrupted their conversation. We get the distinct impression that we are unwelcome, as the robots request that we “please be quiet” and turn back to their private conversation. (

Talk (2016) is another of Kjellmark’s work concerned with the dialogue between machine and human. Although in this piece it the viewer is not necessarily invited to become part of the dialogue, but rather, is only an observer of the unfolding discussion between the uncanny, humanoid robots. The discussion is about human consciousness and therefore creates an uneasy sense of superiority. The human becomes excluded from the philosophical musings and analysis, and the discussion is instead owned by the machine. I am interested in how this reverses the roles of man and the machine, and places the machine in an apparent position of superior intellect. Although the slight naivity and disconnect of the robots makes it apparent that they are synthetic, there does appear to be a slight uneasiness in the control that they have over the situation.


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