In May of 2013 I returned for the third year in a row to Arcata, CA to work with my friend, Banjo. Determined not to repeat the mistakes of the previous year where we made a piece that almost killed us, we kept our ambitions in check and still managed to create an epic collab. Our idea this year was inspired by the "Lifeforms!" exhibition which I am managing. We decided that the modern conflict between the natural and industrial world would make good subject matter. So we build a cold metallic-gray machine - a robot, that is transporting a contained ecosystem of brightly colored bacteria. The robot would obviously have to be anano-bot, microscopic in scale. The entire piece would have the feel of a specimen jar with robotic locomotion and control. Finally, we decided there had to be intelligent intent to our micro-machine so we placed a tiny robot in the cockpit dome. This robot has five arms, a humanoid brain, and is holding something that looks like an ipad and (for some reason) a 70's era cell phone. This element gave this piece just enough humorous content to make me happy.
There were four of us working this year - Banjo and I, Tyson Peltzer who worked with us the previous two years, and an additional member of the crew new this year, Chase Barr. We also got the help of Jared DeLong who did the cold working on the cockpit dome. Thanks, Jared!
We worked long hours, but nothing like last year. The project was finished in time for a little bluegrass music and BBQ on the last night. All in all, a very satisfying collaboration.