We were invited to SIGGRAPH this year to be artist’s in residence in the studio. Two of the other AiR’s were David Bowen and Philip Beesley. They both also had works featured in the BioLogic art gallery. It was interesting to hang out with them and hear them speak about their work.David creates simple machines which translate the movements of people, animals, plants or natural forces into other media. His project on view at the conference was called “growth rendering device” (pictured on the left). It functions like a ink jet printer, tracing the shadow of a pea plant, once a day over it’s entire lifespan from sprouting to withering away. The piece on the right, 72 stems, uses dried stalks of Queen Anne’s Lace as antenna’s to sense the almost imperceptible fluctuations of airflow caused by the presence of people. The installation responds to such stimuli by emitting chirping sounds which combine into a layered chorus as participants explore the gallery space.
Philip Beesley is an architect who, in addition to his architectural works, has been pursuing the idea of an architecture of geotextiles. These geotextiles would be fabrics / materials of repeating robotic units which together form complex ecosystems that function in numerous ways. (like perhaps harvesting power and structuring heating, cooling and ventilation). His piece on display was Hylozoic Soil, composed of many repeated units of laser cut plexiglass, with arduino’s powering reactive muscle wire limbs covered in ethereal mylar feathers, with some hyper-dermic needles throne in to add that menacing feeling.