Fernando Palma Rodriguez
22 March 2000 to 13 May 2000
'I seek the place where the sun lives: I am sent to speak to him. Millennium's first spring.'
Fernando Palma Rodriguez is a Mexican-born artist who has shown his work internationally. During his residency he created new work for his first solo exhibition in the UK which opened at 198 Gallery on 23 May 2000. His work bridges the gap between technology, art, storytelling and ecology, and addresses issues particularly relevant at the end of the 20th Century. By conferring upon his machines a mystic dimension, Palma Rodriguez challenges the usual status of technology and explores new possibilities of expression. Moreover, by using recycled materials, the artist presents an investigation into the responsible production of new technologies.
During this exhibition the artist created, within an extraordinary environment made up of soil and vegetation, fourteen robots that interacted with the audience and with each other by means of radio control, infrared, and light and sound sensors.
Mechatronic Circus told a surrealistic story about the modern world in real time and a 3D format using up-to-date technologies. Each robot was composed of recycled materials and represents a character based on those present in Native American creation myths such as "Old Man of the World", and a contemporary "Super Barrio" and "Super Ecologista" Mexican characters. Although they look like machines, in fact they are spirits who choose to speak to us in the language we might know the best: technology. The powerful process is possible because of the Nomadic Engineer, a concept that is the driving force of Palma Rodriguez's work. By choosing specific forms, the Nomadic Engineer helps the viewer to understand the relevance of its message.
A 198 Gallery touring exhibition in collaboration with Oriel Mostyn Gallery.