Leiden University logo.

nl en

CRITTERS Exhibition: a photo impression

In November 2019, the exhibition CRITTERS was exhibited in Naturalis Biodiversity Center during Beyond Human Festival. It let artists and researchers look for a connection between technology and natural organisms. When does technology become a natural being? And when we examine robots with 'real' human characteristics, does that make ourselves less human?

Technology as a creature

In the CRITTERS exhibition, relations between robots and natural beings are magnified. Not by imitating natural beings, but by placing technology in a natural context. Creative researchers, students and alumni of the Media Technology master's programme at Leiden University ask questions about connections between man and robot, and show new possibilities. How do different bird species react to drones? How do people behave when they come across robots on a square? Can a machine experience lust? They challenge you to think about when technology becomes a creature. 

Hello World – Nicole de Groot, Joost Mollen & Max Peeperkorn

What does it mean to be free? Hello World is a colony of freedom-loving, cube-shaped robots that want to explore the world, but cannot exist without each other.

"Hello World" colony of cube-shaped robots

Tender 2.0 – Marcello A. Gómez-Maureira, Cors Brinkman, Jeroen van Oorschot & Matei Szabo

Can lust exist in machines? Tender 2.0 is a critical comment on the meat market called Tinder.

This video can not be shown because you did not accept cookies.

You can leave our website to view this video.

Track&Trace – Sabrina Verhage

How do you arrange coincidental encounters in public space? Places like a square are meant for gatherings, but many people use their mobile phones and are in their own digital bubble. Track&Trace is a robot that interacts with random passers-by and leaves traces where it has been. The drawing robot challenges people to leave the digital space and meet each other in the public, physical space.

"Track&Trace" robot

Lost in the Wild – Rinus Bot

Can robots and wild animals live together in harmony? The science-fiction documentary Lost in the Wild describes a future in which drones independently collect data to understand their own effect on nature, to live together with animals in nature. The installation combines birds from the Naturalis collection with drones to bring this vision of the future to life.

This video can not be shown because you did not accept cookies.

You can leave our website to view this video.

Deep Meaning – Dan Xu, Joost Broekens & Peter van der Putten

Do you have questions about life that you cannot solve? Deep Meaning is a robot that advises you by sharing deep life lessons, based on an aritificial intelligence trained on self-help literature.

"Deep Meaning" robot that provides deep life lessons

Akousmatick – Louis van den Brink

Akousmatick is a species that has developed a way of communicating independently of humans. It lives in a rich ecosystem that is constantly and rapidly changing. Their language consists of abstract sounds, which humans cannot understand.

"Akousmatick" physical sound-generating installation

CRITTERS was curated by Media Technology lecturers Peter van der Putten and Maarten Lamers as part of their Bots Like You project. The installations were publicly displayed during the Beyond Human Festival in Naturalis from 4-10 November 2019. More information about the exhibition can be found on the website of Media Technology and Beyond Human.

This website uses cookies.