Time: 12. september · 19:00 – 21:00
Place: Atelier Nord Project Room, Wergelandsvn 17. N-0167 Oslo

The artist Andy Gracie visits Norway during the period 6 – 13th September to work on the PROXY project. During his stay he will visit Sørøya in Finnmark where he will collect samples and record film for the installation of PROXY at Piksel11 in November.

The installation PROXY features a pair of almost identical robotic devices (named ‘Essence’ and ‘Possibility’) which have been designed to carry out the basic tasks involved in hunting for tardigrades and nematodes in samples of moss, lichen and earth taken from their natural habitat. These are two of the most important organisms in current space flight and astrobiological research, their reactions to the space environment telling us much about the general reaction of living organisms to such extreme conditions.

Essence and Possibility owe much of their aesthetic and their contextual purpose to the twin Mars rovers ‘Spirit’ and ‘Opportunity’ which have been roaming and experimenting upon the surface of the red planet since January 2004.

In PROXY we see a reversal in the normal relationships and assumed roles between humans and robots. Where normally we send robots to dangerous, inaccessible or inhospitable places, here it is the artist that has undertaken excursions to mountainous regions for the purpose of collecting samples, which the robots, ‘safe’ and ‘sound’ in the gallery space, will investigate.

On board the robots carry all the necessary vessels, tubes, valves and motors to allow examinations of the samples available to them. There is a suggestion that while the robots are busy carrying out the tasks of examining their samples, there is also a part of their attention aimed towards a large video projection of the sample collection process, which is projected onto the wall near them. There is also the suggestion that they have an awareness of the actions and efforts of their human accomplice.

For more info go to www.ateliernord.no