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“ANIMA” installation by Nick verstand @ SXSW 2016

SXSW 2016 presents Nick Verstand’s “ANIMA” installation

Fri, Mar 11 - Tue, Mar 15  2016

Janis Joplin Room at SXSW

From March 11-15., SXSW will present the installation “ANIMA” by Dutch artist Nick Verstand. The installation investigates communication between humans and artificial intelligence. During a separate presentation for SXSW, Verstand will shine a light on the currently popular relationship between Art and Science, and how this linkage is actualised through Technology. Supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL.


ANIMA poses a three-dimensional sphere as an intelligent and emotional entity. It communicates by interpreting body movements and portrays its character by responding to the observant with an array of audiovisual expressions. Through this behavioural process the installation creates the illusion of being sensory. Because of its inherently different nature, this abstract form challenges our premise for communication. This entity acts as a metaphor for human-to-human relations, as it creates a playful environment for us to investigate uncomfortable questions about communication amongst ourselves: How do we relate to something different from ourselves? How do we communicate with the world around us? When do we perceive something as having a soul?

Nick addresses what is possible in this relationship between Art and Science and what is not. And how to work together with scientists from an artist’s point of view. As a starting point he used examples from his own artistic practice, specifically his latest piece ‘ANIMA’. This immersive interactive AI installation, which is called a ‘digital entity’, interprets body movements and sounds from observants, and communicates by expressing its emotional state through an emulated digital fluid on it’s spherical surface. In the process of constructing this installation Nick worked together with artificial intelligence researchers in order to create an intelligent interaction model.

About Nick Verstand

Nick Verstand is a Composer & Installation Artist based in Amsterdam. Over the past ten years he has started and led two creative agencies, performed across Europe as an electronic music artist, programmed cultural events, managed artists, produced & composed music, researched scientific developments through new technologies and built and exhibited interactive art installations. Today he researches consciousness to investigate our perception of reality through technology. His work focuses on creating interactive experiences in immersive transformational spaces operating on the cross-section of art & science together with a multi-disciplinary team.

Nick’s work is rooted in a wide variety of artistic media, bringing together artists from different disciplines, university labs and the technology industry to realise the artistic vision of his projects. He is currently focused on developing interactive installations and composing music projects that received international media coverage on platforms like The Creators Project and TEDx.


About the Creative Industries Fund NL

The Creative Industries Fund NL is a Dutch cultural fund that provides grants for innovative projects within design, architecture and e-culture. In addition, it stimulates crossovers with other cultural and social sectors. Commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Creative Industries Fund NL has an Internationalization Programme designed to strengthen the global reputation of the Dutch creative industry, build enduring networks and broaden the market. It is this Internationalization Programme that has made the exchange with the South by Southwest festival possible. The Creative Industries Fund NL is supporting 14 Dutch parties who are presenting their projects, products and ideas at SXSW 2016.

About SXSW

The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery.  

Year after year, the event is a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings provide buzz-generating exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences. Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning, business activity thrives at the Trade Shows and global networking opportunities abound. Intellectual and creative intermingling among industry leaders continues to spark new ideas and carve the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, long after the events’ conclusion.

DutchCulture USA