Propel: Body on Robot Arm - Spectra

25TH MARCH - 6TH MAY 2022


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Propel: Body on Robot Arm


Propel: Body on Robot Arm

Medium: Performance with Industrial Robot Arm
Duration: 5:07 min

Artist's Statement

A performance where the body's trajectory, velocity and position/orientation in space are choreographed by a 6 degrees-of-freedom industrial robot arm operating within a 3m-diameter task envelope.

The choreography generates rhythm by repetition with looped sequences of motion. Resulting sounds of the robot motors register the motion and speed, acoustically amplifying the choreography. The body and the robot become one interactive and aesthetic operational and performing system. A coupling of bodily metabolism and machine musculature. These projects all explore alternative operational systems. Exoskeleton is a six-legged walking robot that is robust enough to support the artist’s weight. Different arm gestures select whether the robot walks forward or backwards with a ripple gait, sideways with a tripod gate or turning on the spot.  Previous performances such as the Third Hand and the Extended Arm augmented the body by attaching technology with more intimate interfaces. The Stomach Sculpture was engineered as an artwork inside the human body. A sculpture not in a public space, but rather in a private physiological space. In the inflated stomach cavity, the sculpture opens and closes, extends and retracts, has a flashing light and a beeping sound. A machine choreography inside a soft and wet organ of the body. The body has become a contemporary chimera of meat, metal and code. We now inhabit, with other bodies, a flattened ontology of algorithms, instruments, machines, microbes and other living and inanimate things. The issue is not about who is in control but rather of the complexity of interconnectedness.