Amorphic Robot Works

Amorphic Robot Works is a collective of San Francisco artists, technicians and programmers, led by artistic director and founder Chico MacMurtrie.

Amorphic Robot Works is an artists group from San Francisco. The work of the group is described best as connected to a long tradition in the arts in which Tinguely is probably the most well-known artist. Tinguely realized only mechanical art works, contemporary artists use complex hard- and software that enable the "coming to life" of the machine/robot in many shapes and with many behavioral properties. Here the object itself is no longer the goal, but the construction of worlds of experience that are constantly changing and have interaction with the audience. Even the intention of the art work is challenged because the work manifests itself as an expression of a process wherein even the artist is just one of the contributing parties.

The work of Amorphic Robot Works is spectacular and imaginative. The art works they create, in the form of robots, don't have the cold mechanical character of the robots we know from science fiction movies: the objects have a high aesthetic value and they are an organic whole. Last year the BBC has broadcasted a documentary about the work of ARW entitled Pandemonium (the Dutch broadcasting company VPRO has also aired this programme).

Amorphic Robot Works has exhibited in various countries like Germany (a.o. Tacheles in Berlin and the Muffat Halle in Munich), Spain (Art Futura, Madrid) and in Japan (Nagoya and Kawasaki). In 1991 Amorphic Robot Works toured through Europe for one month. As part of this tour ARW visited several festivals a.o. the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz. And furthermore they performed in Amsterdam and The Hague. In his most recent book Escape Velocity, the American cultural critic Mark Dery has dedicated a large section to the work of Amorphic Robot Works.

The group consists of: Chico MacMurtrie (artistic director), Todd Blair (program and technical director), Brian Kane (software development), Stock (hardware and software development), Matt Daly (technical coordinator) and Marc 9 (technical assistant).

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