Robert Willim


What I do

I combine art and cultural analysis, for different clients and as commissioned work. I use artworks as probes to spark ideas, to inspire lateral thinking and to develop concepts.


A selection of probes and artworks from 2003 and onwards

To understand the often ungraspable complexity of emerging digital systems and technologies, we need new methods. Art probing is one such method

About me

I work as both an artist and a researcher, often combining the activities. As an artist I create works that explore foremost imaginaries, media-related practices and human experiences of technology. My art is positioned in the borderland to my work as an ethnologist, cultural analyst and a scholar of digital cultures. I use my research partly to spur artistic concepts, which means that my artworks have often emanated from research questions. This work can subsequently be used as something I call art probes. These probes are used together with different clients to deal with complex questions, design issues and uncertainty. The art probes can also be used as inspiration and material for further research.

In my artistic practice I work in several media, primarily using digital tools, but I am especially interested in ways of combining different media and techniques. I intentionally try to use and juxtapose different materials, like wood or found objects with technological processes. Some of the technological tools I use are considered as new or “cutting edge” (at least for a while), but I especially aim for using off-the-shelf media and more wide-spread consumer products.    

The works I make are often based on the development and transmutation of concepts. They are presented as video works, as performances or exhibitions and as part of workshops. In my probing practice I have collaborated with a number of clients, such as Volvo cars, different museums (eg. The Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm, The Museum of Work in Norrköping and Kulturen in Lund, with architects (Ghilardi + Hellsten arkitekter) and various curators, conferences, galleries and venues.

As a researcher I have published a number of books and articles. My research primarily deals with issues of digital and material culture. I have also developed a research track about the concept Industrial Cool, through which I scrutinise the role of industries in a society that is imagined as postindustrial. 

During the last decade I have worked in Finland for periods. Several of my art projects explore phenomena related to an area in the northeastern part of the country called Koillismaa, also referred to as Selkonen. This is my laboratorium for artistic explorations of place, mediation and ecology. This exploration is one of the most open-ended parts of my art practice.

At the moment I’m concentrating on developing art and research around the concept Mundania, which is a way to explore how advanced technologies are enmeshed with everyday life. 

This is one of a series of videos I made for Volvo cars. It was part of a project to better understand mobility and a future of autonomous vehicles.

Contact Me

I’m open for art commissions, to give talks, to do research and consultancy work. If you have ideas or proposals, reach out through Linkedin or my contact info at Lund University (see link below).