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Current Exhibition

Border Crossers
An installation by Chico MacMurtrie

Feb 16  - Mar 23, 2018
Institute for the Humanities Gallery, 202 S. Thayer
Gallery Hours: M-F 9am-5pm

Live Robotic Border Crossers performances
Feb 14, Gerstacker Grove, School of Engineering Grounds, 12pm
Feb 16, In front of UMMA, 525 S. State, 4:30pm
Feb 16, Ingalls Mall, 6:30pm

Special Penny W. Stamps Lecture by Chico MacMurtrie & Artist Reception
Feb 16, U-M Museum of Art, Helmut Stern Aud (lecture), 5:30pm, followed by reception at Institute for the Humanities at 6:30pm

Students across campus—from LSA, Engineering, Art and Design, and Information—will work with visiting artist Chico MacMurtrie during winter semester 2018 planning, building, and launching a 40-foot robotic sculpture that poetically explores the notion of borders and boundary conditions. The project, led by the Institute for the Humanities, symbolizes the humanities in action, and the empowerment that can be achieved through working together, overcoming obstacles and divides, and discovering creative solutions.

MacMurtrie is an award winning artist, renowned internationally for his large-scale robotic sculpture, whose work combines materiality and robotics, the visceral and conceptual. His artist residency and interdisciplinary project "Border Crossers" encourages investigation of borders as constructed entities, both embodying a simple curiosity to see what lies on the other side of a border (national, architectural, environmental, etc.) and expression of a utopian desire to live in a world without borders.

In February, MacMurtrie and the students will launch the robotic sculpture during two "performances" and MacMurtrie will give a special Penny W. Stamps Lecture. The gallery exhibition will include large-scale drawings which serve as plans and maps for MacMurtrie's visionary Border Crossers. Life-size robotic models will also be presented in the exhibition in conversation with the drawings. The models, built by the all-student team with MacMurtrie's guidance, are prototypes for the project, offering preliminary steps in the workshop and the process towards realizing the large scale robotic sculpture.

Chico MacMurtrie is the Artistic Director of Amorphic Robot Works, an interdisciplinary creative collective located in Brooklyn, NY. MacMurtrie/ARW have received numerous awards for their experimental new media artworks, including five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation Grant, the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, VIDA Life 11.0, and Prix Ars Electronica. Chico MacMurtrie was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts in 2016.

Visiting artist Chico MacMurtrie's residency and project is sponsored by the U-M Institute for the Humanities in collaboration with  U-M Museum of Art, Michigan Robotics, Michigan Engineering, School of Information, Penny Stamps Speaker Series, Stamps School of Art and Design, and ArtsEngine.