Thursday, August 6, 2009


[Above: Salter Poses with the finished installation. The field of miniature robots around the base serve as narrative guardians, and prevent visitors from coming too close and knocking it over]

installed at the San Jose Museum of Art, Robots:Evolution of a Cultural Icon, Michael Salter 's 22 ft robot is constructed from polystyrene packing materials (styrofoam). The massive installation examines the development of robot iconography in fine art over the past 50 years. Associate professor of digital arts at the University of Oregon since 2005, he has been building these fabulous sculptures for several years, each one growing in size to suit the available exhibition space.

Recycling the discarded packaging creates reflective sustainable imagery, but is also formally ideal, as the expanded foam creates the impression of extruded or stamped metal components, like a prototypical scale-model. Sadly though, Salter’s unique creations are usually destroyed because no one has bought one yet or figured out how to get one through a gallery door. Gr8

Time-lapse of Salter working with professionals at the San Jose Museum of Modern Art to install one of his trademark styrobots

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