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Robotic Sculptures Will Cross the U.S.-Mexico Border

Artist Chico MacMurtrie's new installation "invites the public to rethink the notion of borders in a globalized world."

Chico MacMurtrie's Border Crossers are sculptural statements that bridge borders, both physical and symbolic. MacMurtrie plans to install Border Crossers at a range of significant locations, including the U.S.-Mexico border in the artist’s home state of Arizona. Here, the artist would anchor sculptures on both sides of the border. Illuminated from within, the structures would then inflate simultaneously over the border to create six glowing archways, as shown above.

Like the Amorphic Robotic Works director’s previous works—which include his Biomorphic Wall  and The Robotic Churchthese six sculptures employ robotics to create lightweight, transportable installations. When compressed, Border Crossers can easily fit into a travel backpack. When inflated, however, MacMurtrie’s balloon-like creations can arch over fences and walls and are equipped with sensing and surveillance technology in order to stage the choreographed installation as a “mediatized event.” As the press release explains, “Border Crossers invites the public to rethink the notion of borders in a globalized world […] This project envisions technology as a positive tool to establish dialogues beyond borders, to question borders, and to create a symbolic suspension and transcendence of borders.” 

MacMurtrie’s robotic sculptures debuted late last month in San José, California in collaboration with arts organization ZERO1, in the spirit of using art as a platform for social issues. The artist will further the discussion at CalArts’ symposium on Art and Immigration, Immigration: Art/Critique/Process, in March.  Find images and a video from Border Crossers' debut below.

(c) Chico MacMurtrie/Amorphic Robot Works

(c) Chico MacMurtrie/Amorphic Robot Works

(c) Chico MacMurtrie/Amorphic Robot Works

(c) Chico MacMurtrie/Amorphic Robot Works

(c) Chico MacMurtrie/Amorphic Robot Works

Find out more information on Border Crossers on the project's Facebook page and see more of Chico MacMurtrie's work on his website

Related: 

A Robotic Church Rises in Red Hook

A Lifelike 'Biomorphic Wall' Grows In Brooklyn

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