Artist's statement The Artist Ma

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					The Artist: Matthew Gardiner

                                                                    Photography: Christian Alexander

Matthew Gardiner graduated in 1997 with a            Council residency in Tokyo, been a season
BFA Photography from the Victorian College           presenter on ABC Sunday Arts, installed over
of the Arts. He trained in new media whilst          7000 paper cranes at Melbourne’s Federation
working with Drome Pty Ltd, under Peter              Square, presented a paper at the 4th Origami
Hennessey + Patricia Piccininis’ mentorship.         Science and Mathematics Conference in
His works are a hybrid of origami and                California + premiered Oribotics [network] at
technology. Gardiner has directed Folding            the ‘07 Melbourne International Arts Festival.
Australia (Australia’s first international Origami   Gardiner collaborates with composers,
Convention), built a full scale Origami House        musicians, technicians, and the industrial
from 1 km of paper, toured Oribotics in              sector, and has exhibited his work in
Belgium and Holland, completed an Australia          Australia, Europe and Asia.

Artist’s statement:
Paper has structural memory. The                     Each generation of oribots has been fed with
creation of any fold causes the breaking             a digital flow of information; the origin of
and deformation of the paper fibres. The             the information has been a natural source.
resultant crease line constitutes a permanent        In the installation Oribotics [laboratory],
memory of the fold. Unless the paper is              the oribots were connected to live weather
returned to pulp and cast as a new sheet,            information from 55 cities around the world.
the paper will not forget the fold.                  Users—or those interacting with the oribots
In 1953 scientists James Watson and Francis          using their mobile phones—could remap the
Crick published a research article revealing         cities to any oribot, changing the flowers’
the structure of DNA—the building blocks             appearance, and their sound scape. In
of life. The landmark discovery of genetic           Oribotics [network] (2007), the constant
structure laid the pathways for a boom in the        flow of internet news was transcoded into
scientific exploration of genetics, including        a feed of changing colour and rhythm to a
the Human Genome Project. Subsequent                 more complex oribot with multiple blossoms.
scientific discoveries revealed that proteins        Users—in this case either online, or working
created by DNA begin as strands that fold            via mobile devices—were able to have
rapidly into their functional shape. The             secondary, long-term effects on the oribot
‘origami of nature’ takes microseconds to            ecology by modifying the colour mappings of
complete thousands of folds, and a single            individual words. As words were consumed
folding error can profoundly effect the              by the digester software, they were encoded
survival of the life form.                           into colour according to past user input.
                                                     Such a flow of information is impermanent in
In 2004, at Melbourne’s Next Wave Festival,          its consequences for the oribots, apart from
I presented Oribotics, the first generation of       incrementally causing the motion to gradually
folding origami robots, or ‘oribots’. Primitive,     break down and destroy the flowers’
mechanical blossoms, the Mechaniflorum               electronic and mechanical components.
Quinqueplicaticum, clicked and whirred their
way through a fragile + finite lifespan. Their       The present exhibition at the State Library
folding process was slow but beautiful, and          of Queensland features the 2005 Atom
their original mechanical design quickly             Generation of robotic blossoms. They are
corrupted the paper memory. Witnesses                linked to localities of Queensland, and they
of this exhibit were touched by the visible          reflect the history of Queensland through
fragility of the flowers, and commented that         an electronic photographic archive. The
the blossoms appeared to be withering. The           installation asks visitors to choose a location
death of that generation of oribots followed;        of meaning to them, be it their home town, a
they are now preserved in a static condition.        favourite place, or another place of personal
                                                     significance. The work will search the
2005 saw the birth of a hardier, more robust         photographic database, and electronically
species, the Atom Generation (named after            fold a projection of the relevant photos over
Astro Boy), during an Australia Council              the installation, bringing the oribots to life
residency in Takadanobaba, Tokyo. This               with light.
species was first exhibited at Melbourne’s
Asialink Centre, in a work titled Oribotics          March 2008
[laboratory]. At the core of each generation
of oribots is a mechanical structure of              For further information see:
folds. I often liken the structure to a genetic
program. Somewhat like DNA, the structural           Lang, Robert J, ed. “A Brief History of Oribotics”,
program is responsible for the oribot’s              4th Origami Science Mathematics and Education
expression of movement and shape. The                proceedings. A K Peters Ltd.
expression determines the mechanical                 Gardiner, Matthew. “The code in the fold. Origami
actuator design, whilst the degree of stress         as Art and Science”, Bell on the Hand, Future
in the structure determines the lifespan             Design Institute, Tokyo 2007.
of the oribot. Through my research, I                Troup, Cynthia. “Mechaniflorum Quinqueplicaticum
discovered that the key to the longevity of          M. Gardiner et sp. Nov”, UN Magazine 01. 2005:
an oribot was to reduce the amount of stress         pages 27–28.
required to generate movement—a key that
keeps this generation of oribots alive today.

Matthew Gardiner
7 April – 27 June 2008
This exhibition is one of a series of screening           Artist Talk: 4 April at 5.30pm
programs held in the State Library of                at the State Library of Queensland,
Queensland’s Infozone.                               Cultural Centre, South Bank, Brisbane
Artists are invited to explore the State Library
and investigate new ways of interpreting and         Artworkers Alliance:
responding to the collection.                        Level 1/381 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley
This unconventional collaboration between            Queensland 4006 Australia
the State Library and contemporary artists           PH     61 7 3215 0850 / FAX 61 7 3215 0851
reflects a new direction for the State Library.      E
Libraries are a social experience, as well as an
artistic nucleus for communities to gather and
                                                     Artworkers is supported by the State Government
discuss communal issues. Infozone Residency          through Arts Queensland.
+ Exhibition Project is presented by the State
Library of Queensland in collaboration with
Artworkers Alliance.
01   Oribotics [net] (2005) Photography: Matthew Gardiner   02   Oribotics [lab] (2005) Photography: Matthew Gardiner   03   Oribotics [net] (2005) Photography: Yatzek   All images courtesy the artist.

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