Chico MacMurtrie/Amorphic Robot Works, copyright of the artist
Chico MacMurtrie’s Border Crossers are sculptural statements that bridge borders, both physical and symbolic. MacMurtrie plans to install Border Crossers at a range of significant locations, including the U.S.-Mexico border in the artist’s home state of Arizona. Here, the artist would anchor sculptures on both sides of the border. Illuminated from within, the structures would then inflate simultaneously over the border to create six glowing archways, as shown above.
Like the Amorphic Robotic Works director’s previous works—which include his Biomorphic Wall and The Robotic Church—these six sculptures employ robotics to create lightweight, transportable installations. When compressed, Border Crossers can easily fit into a travel backpack. When inflated, however, MacMurtrie’s balloon-like creations can arch over fences and walls and are equipped with sensing and surveillance technology in order to stage the choreographed installation as a “mediatized event.” As the press release explains, “Border Crossers invites the public to rethink the notion of borders in a globalized world […] This project envisions technology as a positive tool to establish dialogues beyond borders, to question borders, and to create a symbolic suspension and transcendence of borders.”
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/154390419″>Border Crosser</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/chicomacmurtrie”>Chico MacMurtrie / ARW</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
MacMurtrie’s robotic sculptures debuted late last month in San José, California in collaboration with arts organizationZERO1, in the spirit of using art as a platform for social issues. The artist will further the discussion at CalArts’ symposium on Art and Immigration, Immigration: Art/Critique/Process, in March.