Robot Landscapes installation

The actual robots are in the two big plastic spheres in the centre portion of the image.

Design Exchange at Harbourfront Centre
30 April to 4 July 2004
Toronto, Canada

A digital illustration forms a vignette to a sewn fabric landscape that incorporates two small light powered robots and three decoys in a colour extravanza teeming with life.

Imagine that the bubble encrusted robot is a nanobot, traveling through a life system, perhaps your own body. In the framing illustration these robots are tiny, a mere eighth of an inch wide circles that travel around the landscape in “V” formations, fulfilling their unexplained purpose.

Detailed view of the framing illustration. In the lower right corner you can see the white nanobot deployment device, with a cloud of newly released nanobots just above left. The nanobots then form into v formations and go off on their missions.

In the lower right corner in the image above the nanobots are being launched out of a mechanical looking tiny spaceship, the nanobot deployment device.

Digital illustration on the outside, soft sculpture with robots on the inside.

The illustration frames the textile sculpture interior – the round opening is imagined as a magnifying glass, changing the scale from macro to micro.

Teeming with “life”.

In the interior landscape scale, the tiny circle nanobot from the illustration is now a robot bubble the size of an orange.
The colours and colour combinations are the same as in the drawing – cyan and yellow; red, yellow and fuschia – but the forms are as if a detail view of what is in the drawing.

The nanobot capsule at right is ensnared in some sort of apendage. Orange “worms” explore in the background.

The drawing and soft sculpture components teem with unbounded life. Resembling a coral reef, the soft undulating landscape swims with fine detail and vibrant colour, reminding us of the unstoppable nature of life.

These three bubbles are “impostors” – rather than working robots they hold a sculptural bit of electronic goo, wires and chips pulled from various dead electronics. (The impostors are nestled in a stuffed wool georgette coral that later became known as the “boob pillow”.)
The legend is no help…

The yellow tag identifies Marc Ngui as a Diagrammatician and Magda Wojtyra as a Process Curator. The 12 legend words and phrases are seemingly cross referenced to the drawing, but the arrow tags that the legend references are empty! Choose your own adventure, make your own story.

Part of Digifest 2004: On the Move, curated by Paola Poletto.

From the press release:
“As the science of artificial intelligence evolves, it challenges the way we work and play. Robotic arms have changed the manufacturing industry. Robotic pets populate our homes. Digifest presents an exhibition that imagines the living environment of landscape for such robots. The exhibition pairs 8 artist teams with a small consumer robot named Fred.”

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