Robot Art: Urge

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Sat Apr 21 2001 - 11:11:59 MDT

This looks mighty cool to me. Has anyone here seen it in person? --J. R.

Amorphic Robot Works
Urge is a permanent interactive sculpture installed at the Yerba Buena Gardens in front of Zeum, in San Francisco, California. It is the first in a series of similar sculptures intended to be placed around the world.
This new sculpture is a departure for ARW and MacMurtrie, and indicates a more delible marker on time, which is echoed in the slow graceful movement of the figure activated and engaged by the interactivity of the viewer.

When a person or people of at least 100 lbs sits on a bench in front of the globe, the kinetic element of the sculpture is activated. As the bench slowly lowers, it engages a large underground lever which activates a series of link rods driving the counterweighted figure's movement. When the observer on the bench sits, the figure on the globe also sits. When the observer stands, the figure slowly rises.

The elements of physical mirroring and mutual gaze between the figure and the observer creates a bond that suggests the unity of the human species on the planet. The glowing fault lines within the globe suggest natural boundaries that deny any kind of man-made borders. The figure's physiological structure is based on both the male and female body, thus further joining the viewer with the notion that there is a fundamental unity to our planet.

The urge to rise and walk is an elemental symbol of humanity's evolution: in MacMurtrie's poetic description of the form, the viewer connects to these primal memories.


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