Human and Machine
Research project by Robert Brolin, Malmö Theatre Academy
20 May 2015 - 31 May 2014

Scenlaboratoriet and Interactive Institute Gothenburg is together with, Robert Bolin, currently artist in residence and masterstudent at Malmö Theatre Academy, and Michael Schade, masterstudent at Chalmers University of technology, creating a robot and linking it to an actor through various sensors. The project is aiming to research how a feeling of sentience and agency can be created in technologies on stage and, from a narrative point of view, how we mirror ourselves as human beings in the technologies that surrounds us. At the same time it is a design process researching human-machine interfaces.

The “Human and Machine” project is a meeting between many different competences and one of its challenges has been to develop a mutual language and understanding of the different fields to be able to create an environment were new ideas and concepts can be born, a kind of artistic crossbreed between theatre and interaction design. It has also been a first step towards realizing the conceptual program “The technological narrative”.

The technological narrative:

Technology as material in performing arts.Creating space on the stage for a technological society.

1 Technology is vivid and soulful and are treated on equal terms with the rest of the performers.

2 Technology in the piece is made transparent, the way things work are made visible.

3 Technology is central for or intimately connected to the theme of the piece.

The whole project has been built on the notion of co-creation and participatory design and it is possible to take part of the story so far at the process blog .

We are very grateful for an opportunity to expand it further here at IAC, through discussions with the audiences of version 0.4 and 0.5 at 19.00 on the 23 and 24 of may and through further experimentation with and documentation of our material.


The technical development, were social processes to a higher extent are mediated through digital arenas and filters, ask questions that in their nature are not technological, but also humanistic, sociological and psychological.

A great deal of human interaction is mediated through higher levels of abstraction. The performing arts and theatre has as one of its major themes to explore human communication in all its shapes and forms. One way of exploring the abstractions and trends of our time is to connect the technological, psychological ams theatrical ways of relating to these questions.

Scenlaboratoriet takes its approaches from artistic, psychological and technological fields of research and tries to pose new questions and answer questions pertaining to the interactions and communication in a digital era, and wants to create new methodology in theatre in areas of co-creation, participatory design and interplay between fields of research.

Research Field: Performing arts, Technology, Interaction Design

Supervisor: Jörgen Dahlqvist

Rober Brolin