Random Forests


On my 2001 Master of Fine Arts diploma are more autographs than strictly necessary. Back then, the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam was still the first MFA post-academic art institute in the Netherlands, and behaved like an experimental free state, making up its rules while it went along.

And so, at the official handout of my diploma in the office of Sandberg founder and then director Jos Houweling, not only the administrators, but everyone who happened to be present in the room signed the document. This is how fellow Sandberg student Theun Karelse’s autograph ended up there.

In my modest collection of artist’s books is a publication by Theun; a survey of levitating Roman Christian saints and their technical traits in text and explanatory drawings, modeled on bird encyclopedias. The book gives, amongst other things, a comprehensive insight in the levitation height and -duration of these saints.

Random Forests & Machine Wilderniss

“What are fundamental ingredients for environmental literacy and how could these be made accessible to an AI.” A research project by artist/researcher Theun Karelse and FoAM on environmental machine learning.

Random Forests website / Machine Wilderniss website

The film ‘Random Forests’ is an introduction for the ongoing eponymous research project, relating to ‘Machine Wilderniss’:

Machine Wilderness aims to take a radical turn towards the great wealth of non-human life. What could an ecologically inclusive practice look like? How do you engage with the levels of complexity, subtlety and grace of life? What could technology look like if our technologies related to landscapes in the way organisms do; participating in local material flows, food-chains and layers of communication?

About Theun Karelse

Karelse (NL) studied fine-arts at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam before joining FoAM, a trans-disciplinary laboratory at the interstices of art, science, nature and everyday life. His interests and experimental practice explore edges between art, environment, technology and archaeology. Lately he has been creating research programs that consist of fieldwork as a means of critical reflection. For this diverse teams are established to address specific topics in specific locations by in-situ prototyping, experimentation and direct perception.

Theun Karelse / Foam

Follow Alexandra Crouwers:
Alexandra Crouwers (NL, °1974) is a visual artist working in the digital realm. Her works are made by using a combination of 3D modeling and animation, and post-production, and can take many forms. From 2019 on, she's a doctoral researcher in art and animation at Leuven University/LUCA School of arts, Brussels, under supervision of Wendy Morris.