Human, Talk with Me

Arita Baaijens, Eeke Brussee, Axel Coumans & Mark IJzerman

Where will we be in 2050? We will undoubtedly look back on the present era with a shake of our heads. In thirty years' time, we will have turned our backs on market forces and nature will be the measure of all things. At least, that is what the makers of Human, Talk with Me hope. The centrepiece of the installation is a learning language machine that speaks to us on behalf of the sea. At last, the sea and man understand each other. Visitors can even share their most beautiful experiences and fondest memories with the ocean. The sea's answers appear on the wall, rippling as if in moving water. How long would it take before man and nature could understand each other so well?

This is how it's made

message from Human, Talk with Me

'Our first test day in the studio, super exciting! Designer Axel spent the past week building the frame for the installation Human, Talk with Me and called around town and country for old fishing nets that didn't smell too bad. Artist Mark perfected the language algorithm that learns to speak on behalf of the sea. Through an animation by Mark, the visitor can enter into a conversation with the sea via a microphone. The algorithm identifies the visitor's question and formulates an appropriate answer that slowly, slowly, emerges from a soup of letters. At least, that's the plan.'

het frame van de installatie, met zeenetten, wordt getest
het frame van de installatie, met zeenetten, wordt getest

'The concept is by writer and artist Arita Baaijens, who knows all about organising expeditions and composing poetic answers for the learning language machine. But coming up with an insane plan is one thing - can it also be realised? Together with intern Eeke Brussee, we worked on the plan as a team for weeks and on the first test day we were truly flabbergasted. Because not only does the technology work, we were even moved by the conversations we had with the sea. Still a lot to do, but now with a nice breeze under our wings.'

Photo: Taco van der Eb

about makers


is a biologist, writer and explorer. She investigates the reciprocal relationship between man and nature in various cultures. She has received several international awards for her work.


is a media artist, AI expert and lecturer at the master Ecology Futures at St. Joost Academy. In his work, he investigates the relationship with the non-human. For this, he uses technologies with an apparent will of their own.


is an intern at Taal voor de Toekomst. She was guided by prof. Leonie Cornips from NL-Lab and she investigates how artists use technology to shape the relationship between humans and non-humans living in and around the North Sea.


is a designer. He translates today's changing relationship between man and nature into forms and spaces that make them tangible.

Photo: Taco van der Eb

Human, talk with me could be realised with support from Stichting Stokroos.

If Things Grow Wrong

Human, Talk with Me is part of the exhibition If Things Grow Wrong. We want faster, bigger, more. Is that always better, or do problems grow unnoticed? The exhibition on growth addiction can be seen from October 15th in Museum De Lakenhal.

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