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Francine Was a Machine
Marte Aas

The starting point of the film is the unverified story about René Descartes’ mechanical daughter; a fable about a man of rationality and science creating a human looking machine in the place of his dead daughter Francine. During a travel through a storm at sea, the seamen discovered the doll in Descartes’ cabin. Horrified by the sight they threw it into the ocean.The film intertwines this story with images from a workshop producing sex dolls with artificial intelligence. Body parts and electronics, flesh colored silicon and casting molds are inhabiting this place. The film also shows images of cephalopods from the bottom of the sea, speculating on where Descarte ś doll ended her mechanical life and what became of her when she escaped the rational dualist world view of her creator.

Aspect ratio other
Prod. format Generic HD-video
Duration 00:14:04
Language English
Color Color
Year 2018
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About the artist

Marte Aas

Marte Aas (b. 1966, NO) is a photographer and film maker based in Oslo. Aas’ main area of interest is the intersection between contemporary image culture, history, technology and the landscape. Her work attempts to address underlying structures and gestures that form political and ideological narratives. The different subjects of interest manifest in the form of films, photographs and installations, folding them into non-linear and layered narratives.

The starting point for her works is often a story present in contemporary or historical material, which is being processed through research into different formats and media, although strongly grounded in a photographic practice. Photography’s material aspects, the connection between sign and signifier, and the representational aspects of photography is thus also investigated and processed in her art.

Aas is educated at The School of Photography at The University of Gothenburg the National Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo. Her films and art works have been shown in film festivals and exhibitions such as The film Society Lincoln Center and Anthology Film Archive, New York and EMAF, Osnabrueck as well as The National Museum of Art, Oslo, Henie Onstad kunstsenter, Kunstnernes hus, Oslo, Kiasma, Helsinki and Photographic Center, Copenhagen.