In collaboration with Gustavo Crembil
Autonomous Robotic Agent (2013/14)
Media: mud, grass, angarilla wood, acrylic, dc gearheaded motors, wheels, and custom electronics
* This project has been awarded with the VIDA 14.0 Incentives for Production Prize -Fundación Telefónica.
“Of earth, of mud, they made man’s flesh. But they saw that it was not good. It melted away, it was soft, did not move, had no strength, it fell down, it was limp, it could not move its head, its face fell to one side, its sight was blurred, it could not look behind. At first it spoke, but had no mind. Quickly it soaked in the water and could not stand” (Popol Vuh. Part 1, chapter III).
Far from the utopias of super intelligent, anthropomorphic, and responsive machines, and inspired by the Quiché Maya’s creationist mythology, TZ’IJK is a blind, deaf and, ‘intelligent’ autonomous robotic agent made out of mud.
Drawn from the lessons of mestizaje, TZ’IJK employs a combination of high-and-low technologies that embody Latin America’s anthropophagic, cannibalistic, and hybrid nature, and so proposes an alternative view to the development of embodied artificial life forms. Originally developed in the Peruvian Amazonian highlands in collaboration with local artisans, this robot claims an approach to robotics in which western methods, knowledges, and colonial technologies are not accepted passively, but are adapted and selectively absorbed in relation to local traditions and knowledges.
- READ MORE ABOUT TZ’IJK: Leonardo Journal, MIT Press
Spherical structure completed (including internal mechanism) ready to be plastered with “quincha” paste. Peruvian Amazon, Summer 2013.
Spherical structure completed (close up). Peruvian Amazon, Summer 2013
Sketch: Interior view of sphere with robotic mechanism
View of interior mobile mechanism inside the polycarbonate geodesic skin.
View of the layered sphere structure: the first layer is an interior laser-cut transparent polycarbonate geodesic membrane, the second layer is tided with an armature made with “angarilla” wood, which is then covered with the exterior “quincha” system of mixed clay mud and thick grass.
TZ’IJK recently plastered with mud, 48-inch diameter. The wet-mud skin is starting to collapse due the wobbling and vibrations. Peruvian Amazon, summer 2013.
TZ’IJK installed at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Summer 2015.
TZ’IJK new prototype using clay, cane reed, and a wooden icosahedron structure, Summer 2015.