Archive for October, 2010

Making ROBOT

October 28, 2010

This is my new photograph titled ROBOT.

This photograph is about addiction, including addiction to technology.

Fear of addiction is about the fear of the loss of self.




I began by acquiring the materials necessary to build a life-size Robot. I learned how to paint plastic objects so that they looked like metal. The body of the Robot was made from a baby bicycle seat and a diaper genie I found at a thrift store.



I spent weeks rummaging through thrift stores and flea markets looking for potential body parts. I used pieces from Tonka trucks and golf carts, grape juice bottles, tripods, plastic plumbing elements, flashlights, toy lightsabers, and knitting needles. Rivets were made by spray painting ‘googly eyes’ and then glueing them onto the body.


The head was made from an air humidifier, radio antennas, and different Star Wars ships pieced together. We placed a small LED flashlight inside the eye so that it would glow. It was important to me that my Robot have one red glowing eye like HAL in 2001.



I cast Bob Barber to play the part of the Robot’s willing victim.

We glued latex appliances onto Bob’s arms to create the oversized junky track marks.



I used eye shadow to accentuate Bob’s gaunt features and bulging veins. I used black clown make-up on his shirt so that we would appear to be covered in engine oil.



We attached metal rods to the Robot’s arms so that my assistants Matt Tady and Demian Vela could puppet them into position.


We used Fullers Earth to create the atmosphere of steam. Demian and I made a rig with an air compressor to blast it into the air. The texture of the Fullers Earth looked more like steam than the fog I usually use.


After placing Bob into position, my only directions to him were to look as if he were in a state of religious ecstasy. I removed the puppet rods using Photoshop.


I also used Photoshop to replace the yellow plastic syringes with actual glass containers of fluid. I did this separately so that I would be able to back-light the fluid and highlight the air bubbles inside.

The leg was made from a weedeater, a Star Wars lightsaber, part of a tripod, an old fishtank purifier, and bicycle sprockets. By this point I had run out of money, so I made only one leg and photographed it in four different positions. I added the four legs to the original photograph in Photoshop, completing the insect-like Robot design I was aiming for.


See you next time!

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