Credit: Gaëtan Robillard

Critical Climate Machine

Gaëtan Robillard (FR)


Critical Climate Machine is a project that quantifies and reveals the mechanisms of misinformation on global warming. The project consists of a data sculpture and a sound installation. The sculpture analyzes myths about climate change, using natural language processing. Its software monitors and debunks false arguments originating from Twitter. Throughout this process, a temperature map witnesses the thermal effects of the installation on its environment. Several dialogues circulate: false arguments confront their refutations. These voices were recorded during several workshops, in the course of which a card game specially designed for the project fostered climate literacy and debate. Later, the dialogues were reinterpreted and spatialized through a generative machine learning model conceived for musical improvisation.

Credit: Gaëtan Robillard

If, via cognitive sciences, computational logic helps to discern the truth, the sound piece explores digital mediation frameworks for the climate, opening up to deliberation. Critical Climate Machine acts as a counterpoint to the determinism of technical automation, while bringing forward the ethics of data processing, at the intersection of physical and informational space.


Art and research: Gaëtan Robillard
Voices: Anastasiya Balan, Gabriel Gicquel, Rabiata Issa, Jade Le, Laëtitia Ngha, William Qiu
Musical research: Jérôme Nika
Sound design: Tony Houziaux
Computer music: Dionysios Papanikolaou

The Refutation Game: Gaëtan Robillard, Laurine Capdeville
Art and education: Özlem Sulak
Participants to the series of workshops: Anastasiya Balan, Lou-Roch Bonnin, Ludwig Chieng, Gabriel Gicquel, Rabiata Issa, Jade Le, Nicolas Lienart, Laëtitia Ngha, Monica Lisacek, Alexia Poncet, Robin Ploix, William Qiu, Simon Roussière, Alexandre Sirey, pupils from international boarding high school of Paris (LIEP) and students from Gustave Eiffel University

Machine Learning algorithm: John Cook, Travis Coan, Constantine Boussalis, Mirjam O. Nanko
Deep learning expertise: Vincent Nozick
Engineering: Laurine Capdeville, Jolan Goulin

Sound production: IRCAM Centre Pompidou
Equipment: Laboratoire des Intuitions, ESAD TALM-Tours

CM is part of the MediaFutures project, and has received funding from the European Union’s framework Horizon 2020 for research and innovation program under grant agreement No 951962.

As part of CCM, Patterns of Heat is an artistic research conducted in the framework of the project at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and at the Deutsches Museum.


Gaëtan Robillard (FR) is an artist and a researcher based in the Greater Paris area. He produces data art and media based installations engaging with mathematical research, climatology, and cognitive sciences. His work has been exhibited in venues such as Palais de Tokyo and Ircam Centre Pompidou (Paris), Pearl Art Museum (Shanghai), Akbank Sanat (Istanbul), and ZKM Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe). In 2022, he obtained a PhD in art and technology from the University of Paris 8, and published several texts on early computer art aesthetics, education and contemporary algorithmic artifacts.