Fernando Orellana: 8520 S.W. 27th pl v.2

  • ©,



    8520 S.W. 27th pl v.2



    Robotics and art


    10' x 15' x 10'


Artist Statement:

    Free will requires that we make continuous decisions on which direc­tions our lives should take. As newborns, we learn how our bodies work, through countless unconscious decisions. As we age, this process continues, becoming more conscious and abstract. We spend our lives with this endless string of problems to solve, contemplating what action to take on each, evaluating the consequences from the decisions, and moving on to the next. The reconfigured Gemmy Corporation Dancing Hamster toys found in 8520 S.W 27th pl. symbolize this human decision-making and its inevitably limited consequences in our highly constrained existence.

Technical Information:

    Each robot found in 8520 S.W 27th pl. has the ability to walk forward or backward on a track in its house. The robots have been pro­grammed with a unique set of eight numbers. These numbers are used to determine what type of kinetic behavior the robots demon­strate. Some robots might appear to be confident in their decisions as they walk valiantly back and forth in the house, while others might exhibit what seems to be hesitation, staying in one place for a long period of time or fidgeting between decisions. In the end, the deci­sion is random, but it serves as a metaphor for the overall redundancy of our decisions. The random seed used to generate the decision is extracted from a small infrared sensor installed at one end of each house. Like our decision process, the sensor allows for external forces to influence the outcome of each choice the robot makes. As people view the piece, they unknowingly influence how the robots behave and what they decide from one moment to the next. The robots pause at every new assessment, pulsing a small light in their heads, which makes them appear to be contemplating future action.