Oliver 'Olsen' Wolf - executive Sesselastronaut


Date and Place of Birth:

Started his visit on Planet Earth on January 30, 1975 in VS-Villingen (Black Forest), Germany.

Present Position:

Olsen is the executive sesselastronaut of the HASA. Olsen serves as the agency's first in command and oversees the day to day work of HASA's functional offices. In his position he consults in various affairs, e.g. how to reconcile science with the exploration of the fantastic and the imaginary.

Area of Research:

Technology as antennas for imagination

Millionen an den Geräten der Galaxy Vision

Mission Statement:

My works combine technological research and artistic experiments. They play with imaginary surplus produced by affective qualities we tend to interpret almost involuntarily in automatons.

The futuristic, visionary, and euphoric aspects of techné fascinate me. To me these appear intensively at the intersection of automata, cosmonautics, and cognitive science.

Let us suppose that most of our appreciation of the environment amounts to the interpretation of observed and felt physical movements. If that is the case, then technology provides us with an increasing variety of sensory-motor systems and technological constructs, such as robots, that seem to be able to express themselves in physical space through reaction, choice, and movement. Key concepts in robotic design such as "bio-inspiration" and "embodiment" also indicate that automata are still designed according to the underlying structures of simulated mimesis. Their artificiality is modelled on specific dimensions of reality that, in addition to their alleged function, also carry somewhat utopian and/or distopic dimensions. In the case of 'bio-inspired' machines, for example, the ancient dream of mankind to be able to overcome the division between nature and technology is very much present.

Machines and technology are at the heart of my artistic practice. So far, I have built technological apparatuses in the field of sculpture, object, and installations. I am particularly interested in apparatuses that are busy with themselves, like vacuum cleaners that clean themselves or or police officers fining themselves. Such apparatuses, machines or devices fulfil their main function for its own sake. As such, they oscillate between utilitarian and aesthetic demands. Besides the aesthetics of the performative, I focus on the aesthetics of "curiosities," whose significance lies first and foremost in its ability to stimulate our imagination. Aided by this propensity to imagination, which Stanislav Lem described as a "species reflex," new types of sense-fiction and other potential functions are created. These I consider to be more than just the overt function of technology, which is to rationally serve the maintenance and development of mankind. I am interested in stimulating and exploring the activity of the mind with the potential of automatons. In this sense using technology as antennas for imagination. Because in technology we ultimately encounter ourselves, in the imaginary we encounter ourselves more selfishly, in the imagination we encounter ourselves most selfishly.