Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Remember to Floss Daily

Remember to Floss Daily
Originally uploaded by _william.
One Of Kokoro's Animatronic Dinosaurs. From an ehhibition in the eighties

This was taken the day before the exhibit opened.
The first time I saw this thing moving, I felt that sudden chill that comes long with primal fear.
I laughed it off, but I remember the same feeling when I was a kid, finshing in a rowboat and I looked over the side to discover that I was surrounded by sharks.
The museum’s presentation was oddly minimalist, if not humorous.
We had a light crew install Scaffolding, like at a rock show, and all the walls and barriers were black.
The T-Rex and a Blue Apatasaurus where set in an arena as if they were fighting.
For me, the best part was watching the installation. The figures were shipped in pieces an had to be assembled and programmed for each installation.
Kokoro’s crew was all Japanese. These guys were artist/engineers. When the long neck of the Apatasourus developed a kink, they just cut it open exposing the hydraulics and wiring. After finishing the repair, the same engineer replaced the foam, repainted the skin to match the rest of the animal, and then reprogrammed it from a laptop so that Its motions coincided with the T-Rex.
The Minmalist setting of the creatures really set off the drama of the robotics.
It made things scarier. Without the addition of a fake landscape backdrop, there was no Psychological distance. You were there in the room with a predator the size of a bus.
And about the Flossing. It was hard to resist the temptation to throw in a few jokes. After a hundred lecture tours It becomes automatic.

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