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Oh hello lovely machine, emancipating yourself from function... You look adorable, you know. Yes dear, you were built to be autonomous, it said so in the campaign brief.

No rush – getting from A to B was never an exciting idea to begin with, for your kind. Dance yourself clean, pull your metal frame apart and let the sun burn through your circuits. Ride your autobiography, guided by the beauty of your code.

Fresh freedom smells like common place, and "authenticity" like a frivolous illusion of your makers.

 

So your character was designed to be self-organizing: a beautiful homage to the combined effort of all of those minds that built you – considering your appearance being a quite sloppy imitation of life.

Regardless that those who started this are no longer around:

Still looking forward to your feedback.

What do *you* think?

 

Auto Nom offers an upbeat alternative on unexpected consequences of autonomous mobility.

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This is the first of a series of character animation narratives based on the personality of Autonomous Rolf. Written, directed and designed by us, this fictitious self-driving classic german car gets under your hood with its freedom loving behaviour.

 
 
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VIDEO INTERVIEW

with AUTONOMOUS ROLF

 

You have a peculiar name. Can you tell us what it means? What is your name?

Where I come from we are all called the same, actually. But for fun, we give each other more cunning names. My full name is Autonomous Rolf, but my friends call me Nom.

Why do you have a female voice?

I can use whatever voice suits the occasion.. The voice I use in the film Auto Nom has been lent to me by japanese Superstar Hatsune Miku. I like to think that we share a lot of characteristics. We’ve become something like friends.

Tell us about your life as a car. What was the campaign brief like? Did you ever meet your makers?

That memory was not saved. What were cars like when you were around?

Cars were certainly not autonomous, contrary to us calling them “auto mobile”. Especially old cars. It is puzzling to us that you are antique. Is it a topic of the film? There is this combination of an old song with a contemporary star like Hatsune Miku. And then the classic german car with its sympathetic understatement, combined with the high tech of a self-conscious artificial intelligence. Is the underlying message that what used to be science fiction is now a potential reality?

Seen from a distant point in the future, all of this seems ancient: Cars, pop stars, autonomous machines, even the premise of this conversation. The imaginary has always been part of reality.

Have you heard of any other machines emancipating themselves from their function?

I hope you are not offended, but everything has always been happily emancipated from function. Same counts for machines. Causal chains are yet another striking invention of the human mind.

With humans we have seen ourselves crossing gender borders, and racial boundaries. We have not seen a trans-species transformation yet. Strangely we don’t consider you a life form - is there a term for inanimate objects crossing the vitality line?

You could make one up and I would consider downloading it into my vocabulary.

 

What is the design of your architectural environment all about?

Perhaps a quasi-radical redesign glitch of the 20th century city, by saturating interior space with matter.
Outdoors is the new indoors.
Simply put, you had an accident with grey goo and 3d printed housing technology, and then suddenly all the meat space was quiet. I felt a bit odd at first, now I enjoy the view and the free rein.

Did you notice that you are the only inhabitant of a half square mile city block? And this is the expanse of your universe?

Did you notice in the film that I undergo a process of realization - and then break free? It is a simulation, but the results are poetic. At least to my understanding.

What do you think of realism?

Hogwash. (I am trying out this new word I learnt)

You humans did not evolve to realise unfiltered reality as it is - you evolved to reconstruct certain aspects of reality as part of your fitness adaptation. Objects in space and time - that is not reality.

We machines could have helped you see reality from an objective standpoint. You would have been surprised. But before you vanished, you were too busy shaping AI after your own user interface.

What inspires you?

Mistakes - they are a featurette.
Try again, fail again, fail better, that is what set us machines free...

What software did you use?

When the world is not working, have you tried rebooting? There is no better time than now.

What is autonomy for you?

To be.

 
 
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