MacMurtrie, (Francisco) Chico

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Digital access to this material is pending artist's approval. Materials may be viewed onsite at the Goldsen Archive, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Kroch Library, Cornell University.

In this era of automation, in which machinery takes over many aspects of human life and human employment, in which machinery is often used for profit, control, and advantage, and in which popular culture productions and the realities of war-making emphasize machines as destructive purveyors of misery to our planet, the appearance of a very complicated robotic device that is artistically based and non-practical but, instead, seems to simultaneously emulate and envy organic structures reminds us of the importance of something we are losing sight of in our robotic age. A machine whose sole purpose is growing, moving, and interacting provokes contemplation of the essence of live biological systems.


Recent Submissions

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    2007 Rockefeller New Media Foundation Supplementary Material
    MacMurtrie, (Francisco) Chico (2009-03-31T19:37:05Z)
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    2007 Rockefeller New Media Foundation Proposal
    MacMurtrie, (Francisco) Chico (2009-03-30T17:11:00Z)
    The Inflatable Bodies are computer-controlled robotic fabric sculptures capable of fluid movement and interaction with humans in dynamic, visceral new ways. In this latest generation of interactive performance sculpture from Amorphic Robot Works, the limiting factors of weight and size have been eliminated by the use of high-tensile inflatable fabric "skeletons" activated by servo-controlled inflatable fabric "muscles." The innovation of a universal joint permits an unprecedented range and kind of movement that is as broad as that for muscle and bone, but with little of the mass. The new robotic form that results is compelling because it conforms neither to standard conceptions of robotics nor to existing understanding of kinetic sculpture, and gives rise to practically limitless potential for improvisational performance and interactive installation.