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Automata prototypes

Movement experiments


Finding, Making and Assemble

I believe the way robots have been designed to move originates from simple human mechanisms, so studying robot movements can be a linking bridge to understand the similarities between the human body and machines. For instance, does watching a robot walk awkwardly remind you of the time when you learned how to walk or of watching a little kid learn how to walk? By asking this question, I am trying to spark curiosity about where these bodily motions and mechanisms come from, how they work, and how they feel. I want my artwork to engender this kind of curiosity about our bodies. So, I started to build some prototypes to help people experience the machinery mechanisms within ourselves. I used cardboard to make basic forms and then created mechanisms to make simple movements, such as the motion of up and down. When I made something move on a piece of paper, I was so surprised by how these simple motions can make an object look alive. My theories worked! For me, the whole experimental process is actually more about finding enjoyment when exploring and making, to bring me back to my childhood memories of making child style artworks, such as the reminiscence of assembling wooden mechanism toys with different little gears. My artistic process and how my art functions is about the process of movement, rather than a static, final product. At the moment, all of my prototypes resemble a defeated machine, unfinished, rough style, broken edges, and failure to make fluent movements; that is a very different style of artworks compared to the works I made before. However, for me, these are my creations, part of the process toward the next step, and more importantly, the way to help me break free from the shackles of stereotyped artistic form, to go back to enjoying the process and to accept a variety of forms. It is like the gorgeous robots are taking off their metallic shells and turning back to the basic state, the original functions. And seeing these original robotic functions can help us think about our basic, original functions.

︎Automata experiment - Looks like defeated machine

︎Movement prototypes and experiments