Still waiting, 2018
Born Winschoten (NL), 1992
Marit Westerhuis operates at the point where the human body and the machine meet. Machines are often perceived as uncanny when they imitate the human body: when they talk like a human, feel like a human, move like a human. For years now, Westerhuis has been using machines she made herself to map her body during live performances, in which she was physically present or absent from the exhibition space. Using sensors and data analysis, self-made drawing machines showed her body – and sometimes those of the audience – in abstract graphs and diagrams. In an era in which everything can be charted technologically, Westerhuis questions the ways we perceive our body and our 'self'. She is interested in the borderlines and connections between the body and the machine. What are the similarities between man and computer? To what extent has our brain been pre-programmed? Is consciousness only a human trait? And why does this thought frighten people? Westerhuis introduces us to the question that is central in her work: what exactly defines the human? Two robotic hands nervously tap the glass of a showcase in an uncertain rhythm, as the sound ominously spreads throughout the space.