IDFA Meets Ruben Baart: Artificial Intimacy

    • News
    • September 1, 2021
    • By the staff

    IDFA Meets, together with journalist-curator Ruben Baart and IDFA DocLab, investigates the intimate relationship between humans and technology in our next event. On September 30, dive into the world of artificial intimacy at Felix Meritis in Amsterdam.

    The concept of artificial intelligence—the machine ability to mimic human abilities—is well established these days. But on this IDFA Meets evening, we'll explore the physical and emotional aspects of this notion. The starting point is artificial intimacy: machines that provide us with needs for tenderness, warmth, romance, empathy, and friendship.

    The idea of machines that can comfort us and give us love, long held to be science fiction, is now a reality. We use apps and screens to satisfy our desire for physical contact, especially with the recent lockdowns and periods of isolation. But does technology offer a real solution to our emotional needs, or is that by definition unfeasible? How can we be truly intimate in a period of physical distance? And is artificial intimacy a nightmare or a dream?

    The evening in Felix Meritis is divided into a number of sections, where we let the speakers speak, but also involve you. Expect interactive installations, film fragments, and other elements that we're saving as a surprise.

    Click here for tickets

    Later Date

    American artist Lauren Lee McCarthy presents Later Date. In the project, she addresses our dreams and desires in times of isolation. What do we expect from machines around us in filling this need?

    Later Date by Lauren Lee McCarthy

    Algorithmic Perfumery

    Frederik Duerinck, founder of ScenTronix, elaborates on the role of scents in emotions and how they can be artificially imitated. With their project Algorithmic Perfumery, the artist team has developed a sensory machine in which the user explores themselves through artificial scents.

    Algorithmic Perfumery by Frederik Duerink and Anahita Mekanik

    Year of the Robot

    Robots are increasingly used in long-term care to complement the human hands that are often lacking. Elderly people seem to be happy about this initiative, but is this what we really want? In Year of the Robot, we see what the opportunities and pitfalls are.

    Dr. Natalie Dixon, Founder and Cultural Insights Director of Affect Lab, a women-led studio and research practice based in Amsterdam, will talk about love, intimacy, and our collective entanglements with technology.

    About Ruben Baart

    Ruben Baart is editor-in-chief of Next Nature Network, a futurist platform that revolves around the idea that our technological environment is becoming so complex, omnipresent, intimate, and autonomous, that we will experience it as nature in itself. As a future optimist, his aim is to take the audience into the wonderful developments surrounding technological progress.

    This year, he published the first edition of Next Nature Magazine. This publication explores the impact of emerging technology in our lives, offering a unique perspective on and with the people, ideas, and technologies that shape our world.

    Program information

    Click here for tickets

    Date: September 30, 2021
    Location: Felix Meritis (Keizersgracht 324, Amsterdam)
    Spoken language: English
    Start: 20:00
    End: ± 21:30
    Tickets: €10 or (€7.50 for CJP, student, and Stadspas)

    The capacity of this event may change depending on COVID-19 regulations.

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