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Robotic Art : TOTEMOBILE

by Kriszta Doczy

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Robotic Art : TOTEMOBILE


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Streaming Price (3 years) + DVD $522

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Chico MacMurtrie is internationally recognized for his large-scale, performative, kinetic installations, and interactive public sculpture. In this video a fullscale Citroën DS transforms in a few minutes to an 18-meter-high totem, nearly touching the roof of the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie in Paris (Science Centre), and this it does without recourse to Hollywood special effects.

During an interview Chico MacMurtrie talks about how he creates his robotic sculptures and installations, about the challenges he and his engineer team are facing.

Chico MacMurtrie is the Artistic Director of Amorphic Robot Works (ARW), a collective he founded in 1991, consisting of artists, scientists and engineers. Currently operating out of Brooklyn, New York, ARW is dedicated to the study and creation of movement as it is expressed in anthropomorphic and abstract robotic forms. MacMurtrie has been working over the last years on his innovative, inflatable sculptures, which were exhibited in major museum shows and other international exhibitions.

The interview was filmed at the Robotic Art Exhibition at the Cité des Sciences et de L'industrie, Paris 2014, Curator Richard Castelli, Epidemic

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Interviewer: Kriszta Doczy Camera,
Editing: Gabor Marinkas
Photos courtesy of Chico MacMurtrie/ Amorphic Robot Works
Many thanks to Richard Castelli and the Exhibition organizers.

Chico MacMurtrie is internationally recognized for his large-scale, performative, kinetic installations, and interactive public sculpture. Graduated from UCLA (New Forms and Concepts) in 1987, he has exhibited widely in America, Europe, and Asia, and has received the support of many notable granting agencies, including the Rockefeller Foundation and the Daniel Langlois Foundation.
His awards include five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the The Fundación Telefonica / Vida Life, CEC Artslink and Ars Electronica award. Chico MacMurtrie is the Artistic Director of Amorphic Robot Works (ARW), a collective he founded in 1991, consisting of artists, scientists and engineers. Currently operating out of Brooklyn, New York, ARW is dedicated to the study and creation of movement as it is expressed in anthropomorphic and abstract robotic forms.

Exhibitions until 2014:
Machines and Souls, Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid (2008),
Synthetic Times: Media Art China, National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2008),
Wood Street Gallery, Pittsburgh (solo show; 2009),
Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico City (2009),
eArts Beyond, Shanghai (2009),
Inflatable Architectural Body “Inner Space”, The National Gallery of Macedonia, Cifte Amam, Skopje (solo show; 2010),
ZER01 San José Biennial (2010),
Beall Center for Art and Technology, Irvine, CA (solo show 2011),
Totemobile, Cultural Capital Bethune, France and
Todays Art Festival Den Haag (2011),
Birds, Richard L. Nelson Gallery / UC Davis, CA (2011).
Geo Homsy and Chico MacMurtrie and Bill Washabaugh are the winners of the Climate Clock Initiative to create a kinetic public sculpture for the City of San José, CA. Education B.F.A. University of Arizona, 1983 M.F.A., New Forms and Concepts, UCLA, 1987

Amorphic Robot Works is a collaborative group of artists, technicians, and programmers who create multi-faceted machine-sculptures that interact in their uniquely designed environments. The work involves a kinesthetic inquiry into the human condition, which has resulted in the creation of more than 250 mechanical sculptures that assume anthropomorphic and abstract forms. In the last ten years, ARW has expanded in many new and exciting directions, growing to encompass tours abroad, commissioned works, and robot-building workshops for children, while still emphasizing gallery exhibitions and the development of new pieces. Over 60 crew members from ten countries have participated in creating the current tribe of machines known as The Amorphic Evolution.

Chico and all Amorphic Robot Works endeavors are currently based in his studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

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