Fully Automated Human Touch


Much of the food we eat today is never touched by human hands until the moment we lift it to our gaping mouths.

Fully Automated Human Touch is that same mouth agape with awe (and some disgust) at where we find ourselves. Merinda and Matt explore the choreography of food automation, questioning the cultural fallout of automated food production at global scale, and how it might deprive us of embodiment, connection, sensuality and generosity. When automation delivers on its promise to provide all of our “basic needs”, what will the world look like? Maybe there will be no labour left for us to do but dance…

Set in 2083, Fully Automated Human Touch is an installation and performance by collaborators Merinda Davies and Matt Cornell (and an AI named CAKE).

The ongoing project has been adapted for screen, print and conference. The above dual-channel film was installed at Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, as part of Counter Magazine speculative fiction commission (May 2021).

The upcoming print issue of Counter Magazine will feature a text from the live work – a script of computer code from 2067 that makes possible the mass manufacturing of food – at scale – with love. Preview here.

Fully Automated Human Touch is slated to present in early 2022 onsite as part of the Art Gallery of NSW – The Way We Eat exhibition.

Also at ANAT SPECTRA in Melbourne in late April of 2022.

And a residency at ReadyMade Works (studio showing TBA early 2022).

WIP documentation footage:

Click to read our sci-fi short Mono-Cheezel recently published in U+ZINE by Plurality University.


More images can been seen at this screen based work-in-progress outcome as part of Community Transmissions online residency in 2021.

Co-created and performed by Merinda Davies and Matt Cornell with future creative team to include Michael Candy as kinetic sculpture and roboticist and Ana Tiquia as futurist and writer with composition from Anna Whitaker, outside eye from Taree Sansbury, studio visits from Ric Roser, native food consultation with Paula Nihot and peer support from members of The Farm collective including Laurie Young, Kate Harmen, Gavin Webber, Grayson Millwood and more!

click for BIOs of all artists

Fully Automated Human Touch has so far been supported by:


BIOs of co-creators:

Matt Cornell is an award winning choreographer and composer, working to ask better questions by collaborating with inspiring artists, in diverse contexts, across (the FKA) Asia-Pacific. Matt’s career interrogates how we embody systems – social, cultural, political, or technological – and in turn how these systems embody us by forming communities and informing identities. 

He is working to remember our future through dancing, performance, sound composition, publication, discussion, and curation, in varying venues including theatres, galleries, public spaces, online and print. Across these radically different contexts is the core effort of conjuring space! events! experiences! in which to gather, to share something that just might innervate the stories we tell ourselves. That we may get better at living together.

Matt also operates as the Artist/Curator/Digital at Critical Path centre for choreographic research, is the founder of Wombat Radio podcast, and the lead artist for “How Did It Come to This?” zine at Darwin Community Arts.

He is currently an Artist In Residence with Next Wave, to invoke a curatorial framework http://beyondpostdigital.mattcornell.com .

He is a proud member of Style Impressions Krew

He is a founding member of The Pump

He releases music under the stage name @TheMattmosphere

Merinda Davies (b.1991) is an artist using performance, movement, installation and conversation to question the current structural paradigm of inequality. Her work is inspired by the environment, human and non-human social structures and the possibilities available to us in future imaginings. Her practice aims to find clarity and connection in the external world through deep listening, observation, and research into the emotional and physical states in our internal worlds. She grew up on Bundjalung land in Northern NSW, and is currently living on Kombumerri land in the Yugambeh region of South East QLD. 
Merinda is currently working on solo and collaborative projects commissioned by the Institute of Modern Art, Gold Coast City Council, Outer Space and The Walls Artspace. She is currently an artist in Generate GC, an initiative between GCCC and Situate Art in Festivals. 

She is a founder and core creative for Umwelt Collective a performance art collective, creating work that sits at the cross section of installation, dance, physical theatre and digital art.

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