TZ’IJK | PAULA GAETANO ADI
TZ’IJK

In collaboration with Gustavo Crembil
Autonomous Robotic Agent (2013/14)
48″ diameter
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