Keith Armstrong


Eremocene (Age of Loneliness)


A mysterious creature glows from within. Witnessed from several vantage points, it moves uncannily, a fluid motion within a dense blackness. Sound, vision and movement are as one. A life-like, biomorphic form fades in and out of perception.

The concept of ‘the extinction of human experience’ expresses our fear for all that will be rendered senseless when an ancient, intelligent, biodiverse world descends into permanent darkness. But as one series of conceptions slip into extinction, so others flow on. Eremocene suggests that we might instead embrace artificially intelligent ‘things’, which have little need for dated legacies such as excess light or the long-extinguished sounds of biological life. Philosopher and biologist EO Wilson calls such possible futures the Eremocene – an Age of Loneliness.

Eremocene has developed out of ten years of sustained collaborations with life scientists, ecologists and sustainability professionals. It reflects upon both the vulnerability and resilience of marine, terrestrial and human ecologies as they are forced to relate to today’s increasingly ‘overheated’ and artificially intelligent worlds.


Supported by Queensland University of Technology, Creative Lab Research Centre, and Embodiedmedia.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

glass, fibre optics, electronics, computer, water, lighting, mechanics, five channel sound

dimensions / duration variable

Keith Armstrong is an experimental artist motivated by issues of social and ecological justice. His participatory practice encourages audiences to imagine collective pathways toward sustainable futures. Specialising in collaborative and experimental approaches, Armstrong’s work incorporates innovative performance forms, site-specific electronic arts, networked interactive installations, alternative interfaces, art-science collaborations, and socially and ecologically engaged practice. His research asks how insights drawn from scientific and philosophical ecologies can help us to better invent experimental art forms, in the understanding that art practitioners must also seek to act as powerful provocateurs and social catalysts. Using radical research methodologies, he has created over sixty major art works which have been shown extensively in Australia and overseas, and supported by numerous grants from the public and private sectors. Armstrong is the Artistic Director of Eremocene (Age of Loneliness).

Luke Lickfold is a sound designer, control programmer and interactive systems designer exploring fresh approaches to interactive system design and sound spatialisation. His work embraces collaboration, with a strong emphasis on the dynamic integration of sound, visuals, robotics, lighting, performance and audience participation. Recent key works (with Keith Armstrong/Lawrence English) include Light of Extinction, Dark Cartographies and Nightrage /Nightfall. Lickfold is the Sound and System Designer for Eremocene (Age of Loneliness).

Matthew Davis is an experimental musician and artist interested in performance authenticity. His group Trendy Nightingale explore the relationship between traditional instrumentations and experimental electronic technologies. He has developed many different electronic musical instrument and installations, including a movement-based Grey Lady synthesizer shown at the Ableton University Tour (2014), virtual graffiti environment Paint by Light // Made by Light (2015), and Igneous’ Fluidata Installation (2015). Davis is the Interactive Vision Designer for Eremocene (Age of Loneliness).

Photos by Dennis Beaubois © the artist