Presented in collaboration with the Berkeley Arts and Design initiative as part of A+D Mondays @ BAMPFA
Chico MacMurtrie’s work pushes the boundaries between robotic sculpture, new media installation, and performance. Immersed in the Bay Area’s Art and Technology Counterculture of the 1990s, he became known for his anthropomorphic, computer-controlled sculptures which evolved over the years into a “Society of Machines”. Today, operating out of his studio in Brooklyn, New York, also known as the “Robotic Church”, MacMurtrie is internationally recognized for his “Inflatable Architectural Bodies” series which explores the underlying essence of movement and transformation in organic and non-organic bodies. Freestanding or suspended in mid-air, these more recent servo-pneumatic “soft-machines”, inflate and deflate through an articulated series of movements, depicting imaginary molecular and cellular formations on a magnified scale.
MacMurtrie is currently working on the “Border Crossers”, a series of inflatable robotic sculptures, which are designed to rise several stories high and arch over the U.S.-Mexico border and other borders around the world. Their choreographed performance would originate on both sides of the border and stage a symbolic gesture of unity and peace.