Transmission in Motion


29 November 2021
15:00 - 16:30
Microsoft Teams

Meet the Makers: Bram Ellens

Meet the Makers aims to facilitate meetings and conversations between academic researchers and students, and makers – such as artists, curators, dramaturges, designers, or other creative practitioners and professionals within the wider field of arts and culture.

In this session of Meet the Makers, artist Bram Ellens will share his thoughts about his exhibition “Robots in Captivity” in Buitenplaats Doornburgh: a kennel of robots trapped in chains and cells. Ellens will reflect on his experience as a maker and will engage in a dialogue about the exhibition with Irene Alcubilla Troughton and Ruowen Xu who, from the perspective of their own research on theatre and robotics, will bring up questions and reactions to his work.

Bram Ellens is a multitalented autodidact artist. He has a background in technology, entrepreneurship, music, and art. As an artist, Ellens has a focus on sculptures and installations. His work is often theatrical with a grand gesture and is often displayed in large spaces. Currently, he is working on, and exhibiting his “Robots in Captivity” series at Buitenplaats Doornburgh.


Irene Alcubilla Troughton is a PhD candidate at Utrecht University within the project Acting Like a Robot, where she researches what movement techniques in theatre and dance have to offer to the development of human-robot interaction and the design of robot behavior. She holds two RMA degrees in Media, Art and Performance (UU), and Theory and Critique of Culture (Carlos III University). Other interests of her lay in embodied cognition, posthumanism, and critical disability studies.

Ruowen Xu did her master study in Comparative Literature at the University of Amsterdam, and is now a PhD candidate in Cultural and Media Studies at Utrecht University. Her research project “Unbecoming Robot and the Theatrics of Brokenness” approaches the biopolitics of designing imperfect robots from the perspectives of non-western cosmology and technological indeterminacy.

Check out the website to get acquainted with the exhibition! You can also look for #robotsincaptivity on Instagram.

Are you interested in learning more about research on robots? Please find more information on the website of Performing Robots.

How to join the meeting

  • If you are a student or employee at Utrecht University, you can join this meeting by becoming a member of the Meet the Makers MCW Team through this link, or by using the following code: ltnlsz5
    You can also join this meeting directly: Click here to join the meeting
  • If you are outside of Utrecht University, please send an email to and you will receive an invitation to join the Team!

This MtM session is organized in collaboration with Buitenplaats Doornburgh, where Bram Ellen’s exhibition “Robots in Captivity” can be visited until 9 January 2022!