robots

Technology insists on its complicated antecedents. It is not alien.
Nor is it solely to drive bio-mimetic tanks, give us shiny toys, monitor seniors, or gut our organic selves into some quasi-mechanical aberrant beings.

My nephew Esteban with the blob and walker at the Eastern Bloc gallery




black and white shot of walker

A note on my backwards (multi-disciplinary?) approach to building robots...


A problem with being an artist is that no matter how we try to get away from our own selves with games, structures, and rules we always circle back to face the contents of our own brains.

So, art can become an artificial loop of illogical logic where it's too easy to slip into solipsism or pretentiousness. Authenticity can be faked.

With electronics, mechanical movements, robots- part of me is always grounded, and never sure. Robots embody a tangle of working technology and myth; of abstract cognition, and a lot of plain hammering away at scrap.

But in the world of commercial and military technology, knowledge seems to be set out solely in terms of empirical calculation, speed and efficiency.

An antidote for me is to keep stepping in and out of different ways of working, different mediums, and different languages.

Writing is one of those structures that parallels the studio work. It is constant and private. I'm a text vomiter. I ramble in ungrammatical Spanglish about everything: from an ethical quandary, to a book I just finished, a person just encountered, a dog that followed me home, or... to a bare instinct pointing me towards a certain line of thought.

...What I do feels like trying to guess the form of an unknown object in the pitch dark of the world by running my fingers over it.
This is what drawing is for me too. But it is closer to thought without language...

The studio work is all still a matter of following an unfiltered thread of curiosity about the world. But I try to show only what I think might have resonance for whoever might come across it!


two of the maquettes I made for Walker first set-up of ferris-wheel, walker, porcupine and rocker, brainless because there's no code in their micro-controllers.
detail of maggot carriage in the first set-up of ferris-wheel, walker, porcupine and rocker.


Humo, Leche y Miel de Beatriz Herrera. Vue d’installation. Robotis Personae à Eastern Bloc, 2015. Crédits photographiques: Alexis Boulianne.

Humo, Leche y Miel de Beatriz Herrera. Vue d’installation. Robotis Personae à Eastern Bloc, 2015. Crédits photographiques: Alexis Boulianne.