MR-808, a mechanical robotic installation by Moritz Simon Geist, uses programmed robotic structures to create sound. It is a replica of the famous 1980s electronic drum machine TR-808 and the first robotic installation that transfers and presents the electronic sound of this most influential electronic drum computer. By using robots to create sound, the artist operates the installation in his live performance so as to highlight the origin of sounds in a way no conventional media would be able to. This is done via physical movements of the drum robot parts, and lights that synchronize with the sound. Thus, the installation introduces a physical error into the music: a drum beaten by a mechanical robot arm can never be as predictable as a computer-generated sound.
Moritz Simon Geist (DE) MR-808
performance and interactive sound installation
Moritz Simon Geist (DE)
Moritz Simon Geist (b. 1981), German artist focusing on performances with musical robots. His projects range from tonal hacking to robotics and automated robotic instruments, adding a new perspective to the “man-machine interface”. However, his installations go beyond the basic physical and technical demand: the main theme is rather the transition from a deterministic (usually binary) system into the physical and mechanical world. This transformation entails a greater emphasis on the “error” of the physical world and allows the object be more tangible and more vulnerable at the same time. Geist has presented his projects at various festivals and exhibitions, such as Ars Electronica 2014 (AT), Club Transmediale 2013 (DE), and Mapping Festival [CH]. He has collaborated with Mouse on Mars and Tyondai Braxton, and is part of the robotic sound collective Sonic Robots. He lives and works in Dresden, Germany.