A blog by Bradley Phillips

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I do not remember how I stumbled on Michael Salter's work. A screen shot of what I came across has been sitting on my desktop for months now. Today I was clearing my desktop of unnecessary files and found it again. Michael's work is pretty neat, he is a Digial Art Professor at the University of Oregon and he builds awesome robots out of packaging foam, he calls them "styrobots". What I really like about them is their size, though not all are huge, he has made them up to 22 ft tall. Another cool thing is they are so impractical as a aesthetic art, while stunning to see, they are made of a material that is in no way archival and the larger ones are so big you would need a room simply dedicated to its awesomeness. But what really draws me to them is how fun they are, while a giant robot made from the by product of modern consumerism has a load of meaning and depth, they are exciting to see and enjoy. Sometimes I forget to enjoy art, because it is so often used as a forum to debate and express ideas on life, death, politics, the human condition etc... bla bla bla (all important ideas and uses) But a reason we all make art aside from its purpose is enjoyment of making it.

HERE is a short video of a team assembling one of his giant "styrobots" at San Jose Museum of Art as part of the exhibit Robots:evolution of a Cultural Icon.

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