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 www.oribotics.net/ 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. Oribotics 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Libraries are a social experience, as well as an www.artworkers.org 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 www.slq.qld.gov.au 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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