(Artist; Andrew W. Mellon Art+Environment Artist-In-Residence, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA)
ABSTRACT: When trying to make behavioral objects that attempt to commune and communicate with non-human animals using the animals’ own gestural signals, fidelity of movement is key. Moreover, as the animal audience/collaborators go about their diurnal (sometimes nocturnal) business, the plans and intentions of one’s robot, while not needing to be entirely governed by the mores of their living compatriots, must adjust sufficiently and this requires flexibility in the schedule of gestures or really, in fact, no schedule. A robotic object that wants a place in the habitat it is borrowing, or if we are more giving, simply sharing, cannot be a rote automaton.
BIO: Ian Ingram is a Los Angeles-based artist who makes behavioral sculptures. Ingram holds an MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MFA in Visual Arts from Carnegie Mellon University. He builds robotic systems that borrow facets from animal morphology and behavior, from the shapes and movements of machines, and from our stories about animals. These systems are often intended to cohabitate and interact with animals in the wild. The work is playful, humorous even, but is cloaked in mock seriousness. Ingram has exhibited his work internationally, including at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA; Art Chicago and the Yada Gallery in Nagoya, Japan; His sculptures are in the collections of the Carnegie Science Center and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.