Nevermore-A-Matic (2016-ongoing)

Nevermore-A-Matic tells stories about the end of the world to ravens using beak wipes on branches.

We have long looked to birds as omens of what the future holds and seen in them warnings of dark days. The birds likely have no awareness of the soothsaying abilities we afford them.

Using human language coded in machine language coded in beak wipes, a signal with significant salience to the birds, Nevermore-A-Matic attempts to tell apocalyptic stories drawn from mythologies, politics, and science to ravens.

The robot intends to warn them about what we are doing to the world and about how obsessed we are, paradoxically, with ways the world might end, both real and imagined.

The robot Nevermore-A-Matic perched on a tree
		   branch and silhouetted against an evening
		   sky. Its two beaks are in a balanced resting
		   state while its camera tail looks vigilantly for
		   ravens. Animal robot art by artist Ian Ingram.

Assistants: Maya Man and Sky Williams

Thanks to: Theun Karelse and Alice Smits

The project has been supported in part by a Ars BioArctica residency at the Kilpisjarvi Biological Research station funded by Stimuleringsfonds and by a residency at the ARTIS Royal Zoo in Amsterdam, both organized by the Machine Wilderness project.