About Roberto Alonso Trillo


Roberto Alonso is a musician, artist, and theorist based in Hong Kong where he works as an Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Baptist University. His practice explores the connections between different artistic disciplines, from dance and music to video art and interactive sound installations. His recent work examines networked hybrid music practices endemic to a world increasingly mediated by AI and machine learning. His multipronged practice-based and -led research spans a post-structuralist reconsideration of musical workhood and authorship, technologically enhanced string pedagogy, gestural analysis, and interface development.

Agenda and updates

Non-Player Dynamics: Agency Fetish in Game-World 

Sunday, March 10 2024 / 12:00 AM

Foreign Objekt

San Francisco

Marek Poliks & Roberto Alonso Trillo

The NPC is experiencing a well-documented moment in various corners of global digital culture as a performative mode that prolapses into variously “real life.” The game-world is delivered to this NPC through game-interfaces, through a dizzying verticality of cascading virtualizations and abstractions, archetypes and presets, low-res environments, compressed bodies, quantized identities, boundary conditions.

The game-world’s characteristic transaction involves subcontracting this or that human cognitive thread for data aggregation and validation (typically in exchange for dopamine). Gameplay ranges from the various exigencies of social media, wellness technologies, or the integrated home, to more sophisticated games such as the theatrics of labor under a regime of capitalism less and less concerned with labor or production as traditionally conceived. Humans play many simultaneous games more or less advertently.

The game-world our contemporary NPC resides in bears heavy trackmarks from feedback-loops of algorithmic determination and reuptake. Humans impersonate machines who impersonate those humans, every layer of subtext and irony blown out into further codes of mutual impersonation. Weird and paralogical lines of flight emerge through the Bayesian wandering of these iterative loops at scale. The deep learning toolchain is one of many computational paradigms entangled with these feedback dynamics, accelerating the return rate of the loop between game and player, burgeoning new plateaus of flattened, normalized experience. There is a pervasive sense of withdrawal, as the human moves from the active target (on the subjective level) of games to an observer of the autonomous interplay of bots, ad-serving tools, SaaS modules, and generated content all variably modeled on human behavior and consumption habits.

From the being-baby Millennial to the wine and benzo Moshfegh protagonist to the varying-ironic dream-reader (the Amalia Ulman to Neri Oxman social media spectrum), from Tiqqun’s Young Girl to the idpol parenthetical assemblage to the stan bot army, from the Zombie formalist artist to the reaction wojak to the GPT-pilled LinkedIn techsales MLM guru, from the nodding full-bore overdoser (the Angelicism to Pinkydoll to TikTok hyperseller to the embodied hentai camgirl accelerationism spectrum) to the outrightly socially-suicidal NEET, Milady, doomer, blackpilled incel, or hikikomori – a cast of characters emerges all through which the horizon of passive spectatorship collapses into a kind of stark realism.

Samson Young: Trees in the Round

Friday, March 29 2024 / 12:00 AM

Visualization Research Centre / Hong Kong Baptist University

Hong Kong

Michael Schiefel (jazz vocal) & LEO (Koto)

In collaboration with Peter Nelson & Roberto Alonso Trillo

“Trees in the round” is a collaboration between media artist Peter Nelson, composer Roberto Alonso  Trillo, and artist-composer Samson Young. The project took, as its point of departure, tree forms created using a generative adversarial network by Nelson and Trillo. Young responded to these forms by looking into the archetypal image of world-centering trees. The 360-degree film will feature recorded performances by Tokyo-based koto player LEO,  performing original music by Young; as well as improvization by jazz vocalist Michael Schiefel.

The Box

Thursday, February 02 2023 / 12:00 AM

West Kowloon Cultural District

Hong Kong

Ka Shu Tam (Hong Kong): Dead-end (2021) – saxophone, piano, percussion

Yuko Ohara (Japan): Birefringence (2015) – solo violin

Lin-Ni Liao (Taiwan): How prudent that we are blind… (2019) – flute, tam-tam, lights

Camilo Méndez (Colombia): Cartography of Liminal Spaces (2021) – violin, ensemble

Ramón Souto (Spain):  The Box* (2023) – ensemble.

HONG KONG NEW MUSIC ENSEMBLE Leung Tak Wing  basoon | Linus Fung clarinet

VERTIXE SONORA Keiko Murakami flute Pablo Coello saxophone | Roberto Alonso violin | David Durán piano | Diego Ventoso percussion