FELT project - FuturEs of Living Technologies

Project Goals

The Faculty of Technology, Art and Design at OsloMet is a unique environment, with strong collaborations across technology, art and design.

There is enormous interest in this renewed convergence of art and technology around the globe, with new institutions founded, public initiatives functioning increasingly professionally, a plethora of projects, events, and a considerable number of publications. The picture is one of a booming field.

The FELT project - Futures of Living Technologies - engages in the interrelations and intersections that occur between human beings, living environments and machines, relations on the edge of how we experience aliveness today. This might evoke a sense of the uncanny and a fear of being dominated by the machine, but also reveals a world of possibilities of becoming, creation of new forms and behaviors.

  • Could we develop aliveness and create a more balanced existence?
  • Can we enhance our senses and communication to become beings that are more adapt at co-existence?

The core of FeLT is to investigate such ambiguous questions.

This research studies functions of living systems such as intelligence, evolution, reasoning and learning and provides a framework of state-of-the-art scientific research that is made available to artists. This is not just to illustrate technology, but to work with it as an artistic material that is not primarily representational, but discursive and performative. We aim at merging artistic strategies from bioart and techno-ecologies with contemporary perspectives on sensory experience and materiality in artistic production and research. Bioart explores the principles of phenomena associated with living systems. The blending of computer technology and robotics with biology is moving into the realm of constructing synthetic organisms and biological programming. Artistic responses vary from dystopian visions of total control too playful sci-fi utopian visions.

The FELT project is hosted by the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design at OsloMet, as multi-disciplinary collaboration involving:

  • Applied Artificial Intelligence research group, Department of Computer Science;
  • Art in Society research group, Department of Art, Design and Drama;
  • Design, Culture and Sustainability research group, Department of Product Design.

Project Activities

OU\/ERT – Phytophilia – Clorophobia – Situated Knowledges

November 18th, the Official launch of the (GREEN) project was held with the exhibition and conference called OU\/ERT – Phytophilia – Clorophobia – Situated Knowledges in Bourges, France. Kristin Bergaust represented FeLT and participated in the proceedings, where preconceived notions of greenness and their material, symbolic and epistemological implications was questioned, tested and discussed through artistic investigation.

Read more at http://green.rixc.org/ou-ert-phytophilia-chlorophobia-situated-knowledges-2-1/

Photo: Špela Petrič (Slovenia) – Skotopoiesis

Update: Human. Nature – New Media Art Week

From November 4th until 8th MP-lab at Liepaja University held the annual new media art week Update: Human. Nature. This student-organized week containing workshops, skill-sharing-events, a conference and exhibition, all with a focus on dynamics, development and innovation for art research in media, culture and education.

Stian Lindmoen represented FeLT in Liepaja this year, and participated at the media week as a part of the research for his MA thesis about art practice through digital production and new media. Among other activities, he participated in a workshop focusing on the use of 3D-scanning as a tool for art production.

Read more at http://iweek.mplab.lv/

AI aesthetics and critical game robots, autumn seminar and workshop

From October 28th to November 8th, AI aesthetics and critical game robots, an autumn seminar and workshop for the master’s programme in design at OsloMet, coordinated by Mikkel Wettre, was held at the OsloMet campus in Kjeller. The seminar was led by lectures from Astrid Skjerven, Jens Huseby and Linda Kronman (representing the artist-duo Kairus).

These served as thematic entrance points to a group workshop where the students would work on understanding the technological workings of thymio robots, and then develop their own game-based systems of behavioural interaction that also included spectator interaction or participation. An introduction to thymio robots and their possibilities were held by Haakon Haraldsen Roen and Vako Varankian, and Tore Gulden held a technical workshop and Game Dynamics as part of this. A goal for the workshop was to illuminate and demonstrate an understanding of the circumstances under which sensory technology and extended perception relates to social interaction and how they might be extended to future contexts.

FAEN – Female Experimental Art Norway

The first edition of FAEN – Female Experimental Art Norway, a three-week long exhibition and symposium programme concerning the experimental art field in Norway, was held from October 17th to November 3rd at Atelier Nord in Oslo. This first edition focused on the groundbreaking achievements of female artists in this field, and therefore gathered twenty female artists in this three-week-long programme to discuss and reflect critically around the role of female artists and the historical development in experimental art in Norway in recent decades.

As a part of the programme, FAEN Kvelder – evening events with debates and performances – were held. One of these evenings, focusing on network building, were arranged in collaboration with Kristin Bergaust and FeLT.

Read more at https://faen.today/

FeLT Presentation at Cutting Edge Festival

On the 24. of October, Vako Varankian and Haakon Haraldsen Roen presented the FeLT projects at Cutting Edge Festival of technology and life sciences. By having a stand presenting past projects, ideas and future plans as well as a pitch, Varankian and Roen connected to a broad audience in a context that focuses on demonstrating how science, technology and innovation can shape our future life, economy, industry and society.

Residency with Maria Castellanos and Alberto Valverde

The last couple of weeks in august, Spanish artists Maria Castellanos & Alberto Valverde attended a residency at OsloMet hosted through the FeLT project. The last few years the artist couple has been working on technical experimentation and speculative designs for revealing existential life in plants. One such artistic project is Symbiotic Interaction (2016-2017), where garments are embedded with plants connected to sensors, and the plants reacting to changing conditions trigger reactions through the sensors, forming a sort of hybrid communication system.

These themes were also carried through in the residency, where Castellanos and Valverde experimented with an EEG headset connected to plants via low-frequency electricity, and measuring oscillatory changes between the two – forming a sort of human-plant communication. This furthers Castellanos artistic focus on hybridizations between cyborgs and wearables as a paradigm for the expansion of human sensory capabilities. They also held a lecture and collaborated with students.

Read more at www.mariacastellanos.net

Congrats! The FELT project received funding as part of the EU Creative Europe project "Green Revisited: Encountering Emerging Naturecultures"

The project is led by RIXC (Riga) and includes OsloMet (Oslo), Liepaja University (Liepaja), Biofilia Aalto (Helsinki), Emmerport (Bourges), Project Atol (Ljubjana), and Baltan (Eindoven). The project will organize workshops and residencies, exhibitions and conferences, publications and research, network building.

Swarm Robotics Art presented at ALIFE 2019 conference in Newcastle, https://2019.alife.org/

Haakon Haraldsen Roen, Vako Varankian and Stefano Nichele presented Gathering of the Hive: Investigating the Clustering Behaviour of Honeybees Through Art and Swarm Robotics at the Artificial Life conference.

A video can be seen here:


Gathering of the Hive presented at UN/GREEN conference in Art & Science Festival, Riga http://festival2019.rixc.org/

On the 5th of July , Haakon Haraldsen Roen and Vako Varankian presented Gathering of the Hive: Investigating the Clustering Behaviour of Honeybees Through Art and Swarm Robotics. This collaboration is also part of Haakon's master thesis , advisors were Boel, Stefano and Kristin.

A pre-project can be seen here:


FeLT presentation in POM- Politics of the Machine in Beirut https://pombeirut.com/

On the 14th of June, Kristin Bergaust presented the FELT project to colleagues from around the world in a conference that was very relevant to our future plans and provided both learning, inspiration and new contacts.

FELT kickoff meeting

On Tuesday 30th April the FELT project group has invited colleagues and friends to the kickoff meeting with presentation by Kristin Bergaust, Stefano Nichele, and guest Maria Castellanos. Maria (http://mariacastellanos.net) is a Spanish artist and researcher with PhD in fine arts from University of Vigo. Her research focus is on technological prosthesis, focusing on hybridizations between cyborgs and wearables as a paradigm of extending human sensorial capabilities.

Presentation at NOBA BioArt Symposium

Kristin Bergaust has presented the FELT project at the NOBA BioArt Symposium - Thinking through matter, organized by the Norwegian BioArt Arena.

(Photo: Zane Cerpina )

Congrats! The FELT group receives an internal OsloMet grant for a new Lighthouse Project

Congratulations to the FELT project group for securing a 1 MNOK internal grant at OsloMet for 2019-20. The multi-disciplinary project will conduct in-depth transdisciplinary research to meet challenges and discover possibilities in the interrelations and intersections that occur between human beings, living environments and machines with an aim to develop innovative results, methods and processes to further education and research for the future.

Project coordinator: Prof. Kristin Bergaust

1-2 years MSCA fellowship

MSCA Fellow in Digital human: artificial intelligence enhanced human bodies and the representation of the self - deadline 08/03/2019


Renewable Futures 2020 conference will be hosted by OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University

We have the pleasure to announce that the conference Renewable Futures 2020 will be held at OsloMet. The FELT project will contribute to the organization. Welcome!

Link to conference series

Interview on forskning.no

Artistic research combined with IT methods can be a great way to educate children to robotics and AI. We received a visit from forskning.no and 10-years old Eskil, to show how our multi-disciplinary research methods at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Art con be an engaging educational tool.

Article Link

Presentation at Kulturtanken for the celebration of the art and science journal Leonardo (50 years)

We presented our OsloMet projects at the Kulturtanken Lunch Seminar 29/11 at 12:00-15:00, during the celebrations for Leonardo's journal turning 50 years.
Abstract: Using an algorithm inspired by the clustering behaviour of young honeybees applied to a small ‘swarm’ of thymio robots, Haakon Haraldsen Roenand Vako Varankian, students from OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University, investigates how these forms of emergent, social mechanisms observed in nature can be be interpreted, adapted and illuminated with strategies at the intersection of art and IT

Congrats! The FELT project receives an internal OsloMet grant for new project proposal

Congratulations to the FELT project group for securing a 100.000 NOK internal grant at OsloMet to prepare an EU project proposal in 2019. The multi-disciplinary project will investigate Living Technologies through Art.

Evolutionary Art

Our OsloMet students Joachim Berg, Gustav Berggren, Arqam Sajid, Ruben Jahren and Sivert Borgeteien are investigating art generated by Artificial Intelligence, in particular evolutionary art. They evolve genotypes of overlapping transparent geometrical shapes of different colors to approximate pictures and paintings with a new artistic style.

Here is the project code (on Github)

Submitted project proposal to NARP

Our group has submitted and ambitious proposal to the Norwegian Artistic Research Program (NARP), entitled Futures of Living Technologies (FELT). Fingers crossed!

iWeek - new media art week

Our two students Vako Varankian and Haakon Roen present our multi-disciplinary project "Gathering of the Hive: investigating the clustering behaviour of honeybees through art and swarm robotics " in a prestigious international venue.

News article and Conference program

Invited Panel - AI & Artistic Research

3rd International Conference on Art, Science, Technologies and Humanities, Latvia.

Demo at TKD-Day

Our students Benjamin, Haakon and Stephanie have presented our projects at TKD Day, the annual celebration of the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design at OsloMet.

Great engagement and interest from the participants.

Digital Human

PhD Proposal in our group at TKD - artificial intelligence enhanced human bodies and the representation of the self


Pepper for Storytelling

Our student Vako Varankian, in collaboration with Heidi Dahlsveen, has investigated an experimental approach to storytelling with the help of our robot Leonardo (AKA Pepper).

The performance and demo can be seen in the hallway at OsloMet.

Guest Lecture at EST - Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life Art

Aesthetics meets computer science

In this guest lecture, our OsloMet master students at the Dept. of Art, Design and Drama learn about Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life, and reflect around such technologies in the context of artistic research.

ARTificial v.1.0 workshop

April 24, 2018 at OsloMet Makerspace

Program and description

Guest Lecture by Prof. Laura Beloff - The state of the Art & Science

Tuesday, 24 April 2018 from 10:00-11:00 at OsloMet



Pheromone Performance with Swarm Robotics

Visualization of random Discrete Colour Sampling

New research students

We welcome three students from OsloMet in our team:

  • Haakon Roen
  • Stephanie Hoebeke
  • Benjamin Bouquillon