Twenty One

15/07/2021 - 21/08/2021

Stelarc
Reclining Stickman

2020

9.00 metres

Saul Steed

2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. Reclining StickMan is a 9m long, 4m high stick figure robot actuated by pneumatic rubber muscles. It continuously rotates on its axis, its limbs algorithmically actuated. As an interactive installation, anyone, anywhere could access the robot and insert their own choreography via the online interface. For the 5 hour continuous performance, the body was positioned on the torso of the robot and could actuate its limbs using a pair of pneumatic joystick. The artist was responding and improvising to both the in-gallery and online participants. The rotating robot was projected on the 3 walls of the gallery generating anamorphic shadows. The sound of the inflating, contracting and extending and exhausting muscle sounds were augmented by the solenoid clicks and the droning of the rotational motor. The artist imagined the body on the robot as a kind of contemporary pieta, of a human cradled by a large robot. Nina Sellars more seductively described it as the body being merely a human strap-on for the robot.



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