Interactive Installation, Art in public space

This object’s name is composed of two words: ‘phantom’ and ‘automaton’. Phantom derives from the Greek word φάντασμα and signifies a shadow of a being, an apparition, illusion, or ghost.

The project consists of a series of humanoid machines (‘Fantomats’) operating similarly to penny arcade machines (vending machines, slot machines, gambling machines), which appear to be an extreme expression of alienation in the commercialised public space. The idea of the project was provoked by the need of subverting that commercial space by using its own rules. The Fantomat (an automaton for fantasies) provides with an alternative by replacing commercial principles and products with an unexpected artistic reality. The Fantomat is a humanoid wooden sculpture furnished with a coin mechanism, a mini flat screen and a DVD player. The insertion of a coin activates a particular audio-video landscape, projected through the Fantomat’s eyes. Its figure is crafted according to the logic and the aesthetics of the android, the robot, the cyborg; however, its function is dictated by human choices. In this project, I would like to juxtapose the human with the technological, social reality with science fiction, a sense of humour with a sense of responsibility.

SubHuman Theatre’s action strategy is partly based on the distinction between the primacy of the original and the secondary nature of its dangerous, potentially destabilising copies. Figures, objects, and automata act, imitate and adopt the status of the human: they resemble it, but aren’t. They are mimicries: travesties, camouflages, and endangerers… They are projects for inscription and disguise; they are stains – a provocation in the space between eyes and gaze. The Fantomat produces a travesty in the public space by taking up the position of a helpful automaton. It adopts the form of a machine for consumption and entertainment that provides with unexpected content.

The ‘Fantomat’ project brings to light an innovative artistic and technological solution. It occupies the interstices between theatre, performance, installation, multimedia, art criticism and theory.


First presented at SEAS Project, Odesa, Ukraine

The concept for the Fantomats was first developed in Skegness, United Kingdom, in collaboration with Dritero Kasapi.

Co-producers: Intercult, ‘Via Pontica’ Art Association


Welcome to the world of the subhuman perspective.
The public wants to be involved in the arts and will certainly want to be involved in the shape of its own future.
Scientists will want to discover, artists to create, technicians to invent, and philosophers to reason. A renewal of the Renaissance ideals combining design and precision engineering with intellectual and philosophical finesse will emerge.
As changes happen, our beliefs will change too.
The future human is going to be designed.
He will be driven by the rational rather than by the mystical.
Engineered like a finely tuned machine in a human biological body so you can recognize him.
Yet, his body does not age, it is easily upgraded, with meta-sensory components, 24-hour remote Net relay system, and has multiple gender options. He has a smart skin engineered to repair, remake, and replace itself. It transmits enhanced sensory data to the brain on an ongoing basis. The smart skin learns how and when to renew itself and reflects symbols, images, colors and textures across its contours.
Yet, by its very nature, his ideal relies on a new human nature, one that continues to change over time and is driven by social changes that are progressive, yet critical.