Conversing with »Strange Agents«

From March to May 2019, Ariel Bustamante was a WimmelReserach-fellow at Platform 12, a collaboration between Akademie Schloss Solitude, the artist duo Wimmelforschung and Robert Bosch GmbH. Platform 12 is an experimental space designed by Wimmelforschung in collaboration with Bosch as part of Bosch’s center for research and advance engineering in Renningen. As an essential feature, it contains a permanent collaboration with Akademie Schloss Solitude, in the framework of which artists of various disciplines engage with the company as indirect observers and initiators, to exchange ideas with researchers and work on their own and joint artistic projects.

What follows is a collage of a multipart and multilocal conversation between Bustamante and Rebecca Hanna John. It began in May 2019 when the two were sitting on a bench in the sun at Akademie Schloss Solitude and continued as an ongoing question-and-answer series between Bolivia and Germany, via WhatsApp texts and voice messages.

In addition, WimmelResearch fellow Ariel Bustamante who took part in Platform 12 from March to May 2019 explains his project Conversation Room in a video documentation here.

»Conversation Room is an acoustically isolated space specially designed for voice that houses conversations between myself, a Bosch employee, and a computer. This computer is equipped with a simple AI algorithm that allows it to converse with the participants nevertheless using its own, incomprehensible language.«