E-Squared Magazine
Art + Science | Culture

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Robot Mythologies with Geoffrey Drake-Brockman

As we round the corner into March, artist Geoffrey Drake-Brockman of Issue #3 will be showing his work, Parallax Dancer, Coppelia One, and Floribots in the show A Cache of Kinetic Art: Curious Characters at the Morris Museum NJ. The exhibit will be up from March 16, 2018 – June 20, 2018. If you are in New Jersey or surrounding areas, I highly encourage you attend to see his kinetic artwork – it is not to be missed!

Since having completed a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (’85) and a Masters in Visual Arts (’94), Geoffrey Drake-Brockman has  helped sustain the cybernetics art movement in a technological time that seems much more fitting to respond to an artistic approach to communication and control. His work often involves a man/machine dialog that does not intend to create or resolve a conflict more than simply allow a passive expression glazed in subtle air, light, and graceful motion – beautiful, moving gestures made to move or move others – to come alive.

His interactive light sculpture Surface (permanent installation – Perth Children’s Hospital) is made up of 2,080 ceiling-hung pixel-tubes containing over 66,000 full-colour LEDs. It is best described as an inverted light pond. Sensors detect movement, which triggers a “virtual stone” to change the LEDs, causing a ripple effect. Drake-Brockman optimized Surface’s software to reflect a “sense of play” to enable both children and adults to equally interact and is considered to be a key part of the “healing environment” of the hospital. In sculptures such as Luminous and Solar Jayne, Drake-Brockman achieves a different effect in approach and response, providing the spectrum of cybernetic “art” intends to communicate no different that humans – one end being out of reach while the other is often well within our grasp (mentally as much as physically).

Some of the more interesting sciart devices/dialogs/concepts created by Drake-Brockman include “muons” and muon detectors, a water sculpture that utilizes microwave motion detectors and custom software, and robot origami flowers to name a few.