Moritz Simon Geist is a performer, musicologist, and robotics engineer. Geist’s projects range from robotic music performances to research about the speculative future of art and technology. His robotic instruments and performances have been shown and awarded on many international festivals and exhibitions. He collaborates with performers such as Mouse on Mars and Robert Lippok and teaches on the progression of technology and society at the NYU Berlin. He was awarded the Artist-In-Residence-Stipend for the Free State of Saxony, the Visual Music Award 2017 and a working grant of the Initiative Musik 2017/18.
His background is both as a classical musician and a robotics engineer, with an expertise in prototyping technologies and 3D-Printing.
He currently produces the first techno record ever, played live by robots.
Talks and Workshops
The Speculative Future of Art and Technologie
Moritz Simon Geist throws all predictions on ‘market development’ and ‘consumer behaviour’ overboard and enters the speculative domain of Art Fiction.
Everybody is talking about Machine Learning, Cyborgs and Body Enhancement these days. But how could actual speculative products, situations and problems look like in 10, 20 or 30 years? In his talk, Geist presents absurd devices-of-the-future and imaginary products for the yet unknown needs of our future self! This happens in the cross-section of society and art – for a world in which brain interfaces, body enhancement and nanorobots (finally!) have become everyday items.
Outcomes for Participants
An unbiased outlook to speculative future products and techniques in the art and music scene.
|30 – 60min|
A futuristic approach: Making Music with Robots!
In this Talk, Moritz Simon Geist, well known for this mechanical drum robot MR-808, talks about how robots and mechanic instrumenst can be used to make electronic music – without electronics! The first part of this talk provides an overview of the different concepts and approaches to robotic musical instruments. He looks at the history of music robots, discover the most amazing projects in this field and characterizes different kinds of robotic devices. The second part deals with hardware and DIY techniques to create music robots. An overview on Geists robots is presented, as well as on the production process.
The following topics will be discussed in detail:
Outcomes for Participants
A unique and inspirational view on the creative artistic process, hardware hacking and DIY techniques.
|45 – 60min|
A Hands-on Workshop about Robots and Electronic Music
In this workshop, sound artists and robotics engineer Moritz Simon Geist gives an insight into the sound creation of small robotic systems and mechanics. The field of Robotic Electronic Music is a futuristic and visual way of producing music combining the craft of DIY Instrument design with the love for electronic music, techno, and sound art. In Robotic Electronic Music, all the sounds that are normally produced by computers or synthesizers are instead created with by physical objects: drums, metallic objects, motors, relays, and robotic devices. This introduces an error and nearly human touch into the musical structures, at the same time retaining the repetitive structures that can only be achieved with machines.
In the workshop, 6-20 people are giving the possibility to explore and experiment with the sound which one can produce with Music Robots. Moritz Simon Geist brings part of his instrumentation, highlighting state-of-the-art music robots, acoustic design, and DIY Electronics. In an explanatory and hands-on setting, the participants are asked to create sounds, samples, produce and experiment with the given instrumentation. The participants can finally show their work in a showcase event and take home their produces sound material.
Outcomes for Participants
A detailed and concrete insight on the creative process of working with electronics and robots on a basic level.
|2 – 3h|
A Manifesto on Creativity and Artificial Intelligence
In this workshop the impact of artificial intelligence for art, music and creativity is examined in a group of 6-10 participants. Finally a micro-manifesto is created which can be presented in a 30 min talk with FAQ Session.
Prerequisite: Up to 10 participants. They should be active in art, technology or design, have a strong interest in AI and future scenarios or have worked with AI or neural networks
|3 – 6h|
Performances & Installations
“Tripods One” is a futuristic robotic sound performance by Moritz Simon Geist. In this robotic-techno performance, he sketches a possible future of human-machine interaction – with robots and electronic music. The kinetic sculpture is played live as a music instrument in an AV-performance. Small mechanics and physical tone-generators insides the sculpture produce the noises used in the musical context. The sculpture envisions a futuristic sound device which plays contemporary electronic music through music robots. In the performance the artist is still present on stage controlling and interacting with the machine. More
30 – 60min
MR-808: Interactive Drum Robot
MR-808 interactive is a drum robot installation featuring an oversized robotic drum machine which is programmed live by the audience! The audience can program the drum robot in a collaborative process and listen to the emerging of the sound. At the exhibition site, the crowd can stand in front of the robot, composing the music in realtime.
The drum robot installation is intended for a collaborative music creation process which turn the listener from a passive spectator to an active player, visualizing the ongoing bond of mobile digital interfaces and physical actions. More
|3,40, x 1,80m
Soft Manipulator: Interactive Polyrhytmic Music Robot
A playful interactive installation where the audience experiments with rhythms, mechanics, and objects. Everyday items like glasses, pots, as well as small musical instruments are placed on a light platform. Seven robotic mechanic devices can be manipulated interactively by the audience, manipulating the sound of the objects. The six robotic mechanics beat the objects, creating a constantly changing polyrhythmic web of sound and rhythm.
“Simon Moritz Geist’s new work ‘Soft Manipulator’, continues to explore the black box of electronic sound production by laying out an array of everyday objects and mini-robots, which acoustically interact with these objects, on the flat surface of a table. As in his previous well-known robot installation “MR 808 Interactive Drum Machine”, the audience can control this interaction, this time by means of easily manipulating objects and knobs which require no particular expertise to operate. Thus the installation supports an inherent desire for experimentation and sound – in a playful way with everyday objects and mechanical robots.” (Jessica Buskirk, ALTANA Gallery) More