UCLA REGENTS LECTURER
February 18, 2020, 6:00 pm
Chico MacMurtrie’s work pushes the boundaries between robotic sculpture, new media installation, and performance. After receiving his M.F.A from UCLA he became known for his anthropomorphic, computer-controlled sculptures, which evolved over the years into a “Society of Machines”. Today, operating out of his studio in Brooklyn, New York, also known as the “Robotic Church”, MacMurtrie is internationally recognized for his “Inflatable Architectural Bodies” series, which explores the underlying essence of movement and transformation in organic and non-organic bodies. Freestanding or suspended in mid-air, these more recent servo-pneumatic “soft-machines”, inflate and deflate through an articulated series of movements, depicting imaginary molecular and cellular formations on a magnified scale.
MacMurtrie is currently working on the “Border Crossers” project, which comprises the simultaneous activation of up to six pneumatic sculptures at both sides of the border, rising up to several stories high before arching over the border fence. The slow, organic movements and physical softness of these inflatable Border Crossing sculptures would contrast with the hard and hostile fence, as a powerful metaphor for the living relationship between the diverse communities that straddle the border.
The “Border Crossers” project has received significant support from the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Mapfund Grant, and the Warhol Foundation Grant and will be presented by the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts in El Paso, Texas in 2020
About Chico MacMurtrie
Chico MacMurtrie and Amorphic Robot Works, an interdisciplinary collective he founded in 1991, are recognized for their monumental robotic sculptures and performative installations. They have received numerous awards for their experimental new media artworks, including five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation Grant, the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, VIDA Life 11.0, and Prix Ars Electronica, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Mapfund Grant.
MacMurtrie/ARW’s works have been presented in major museums and venues around the world including the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), Beijing; Hayward Gallery, London; Museo de la Reina Sofia, Madrid; Cité des Sciences et del’Industrie, Paris; Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico City; Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY; Shanghai Biennale; Tri Postal, Lille,(retrospective exhibition), Muffatwerk, Munich; Ex-Dogana, Rome and ZHI Art Museum, Chengdu.
Upcoming exhibitions include a solo show and series of “Border Crosser” performances curated and organized by the Rubin Museum for the Visual Arts, El Paso Texas in 2020.