Fernando Orellana: Dramatis Personae

Discover three great robotics art works by new media artist Fernando Orellana from El Salvador and participate in his "Ready-Made Hack" arduino workshop on November 26.

Born in San Salvador, El Salvador and currently living in Troy, New York, Fernando Orellana is a New Media artist that works in a variety of materials and processes. From robots that extrude populations of Play-Doh to interactive machines designed exclusively for ghosts to operate, in each new artwork, Orellana uses the medium that seems most appropriate to him for any given concept. For the exhibition at Café Neu Romance, Orellana will be exhibiting three pieces that range in materials, but share a common thread: the automated humanoid figure.

In all three artwork, Pardiso, No Cuts, No Buts, No Coconuts, and Dramatis Personae, the human figure is used as a vessel to explore a variety of concepts and questions.

Paradiso (2011).

In Paradiso, the concept relates to birth or human origins, specifically in regards to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The main question posed is what did the actors in the Garden of Eden talk about before their expulsion from paradise? This is investigated through three small dolls, Adam, Eve, and a Spaceman, that become the characters in a generatively made real-time television program. The emergent conversation that surfaces between these three characters ranges in tone and subject; sometimes introspective, oftentimes mysterious and always humorous.

No, Cuts, No Buts, No Cocunuts (2011).

In the artwork No Cut, No Butts, No Coconuts, the concept relates to our insatiable desire to move forward, even when there is no forward to move into. The eight humanoid robots in this sculpture are in a constant state of joy and despair, trying to push to pass each other in the queue, but never getting anywhere. The robots in the piece are repurposed electronic toys, starting their lives as Frosty the Snowman, but ending up in the same existential predicament we all find ourselves in.

Put simply, the humanoid robot in the artwork Dramatis Personae is death. Wearing a tuxedo and a colorful birthday hat, the goal of this death-robot is to entertain and distract us as much as possible. As we laugh and wonder about its robo-antics and inner clockwork, Dramatis Personae fulfills its design, acting as yet another humorous proxy for us to forget the relentlessness of time and the ultimate threshold we must all cross.

[image source: Fernando Orellana]
[source: Vive Les Robots!]

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The Danish "robot" marking and event firm Vive Les Robots! is the main organizer of Cafe Neu Romance.


The Gallery of the National Technical Library in Prague, Galerie NTK, is co-organizer of Cafe Neu Romance.