Monday, January 08, 2007


Well it finally happened. The show is done. I can hardly believe it. All the work and stress came down to a two hour opening and now nine days of maintaining "This seemed like a job for robots" and "30 lbs." I think I have a lot to digest about the show, and what I think about the work will have to come later. Some pictures here though.

The opening was a great success. There were about 200+ people at the opening and the food turned out great. Lots of honey, jelly beans, bread, cheese, tea, crackers, grapes, and punch. Our music could not come so we can in under budget. Lots of left over honey and cheese and tea for us :D

My part of the opening didn't go so swimmingly however. In fact, I think it has to be one of the single worst experiences of my life. You know those dreams where you wake up in class/work naked? Well I have dreams like that only its show time and I have nothing to show. Well that nightmare became very very real. I will describe the time line, keeping in mind the show opens at 6:00...

5:44 - I sit down to take a few minutes to watch the piece work and enjoy the calm before the show, I made it.
5:45 - As I am watching the robot inexplicably drives right into the wall of flour and beaches it self. I immediately run to open its room to see what happened.
5:46 - I find the robot, clean it of, re-set it and put it back in. It runs into the wall again with out making its "beep" meaning that it is not sensing anything. Its blind and broken.
5:47 - I run down stairs to grab my back-up robot that I built just for this purpose. However I have not attached its camera. So I must #1 find it in my trashed studio and #2 find the glue before I can attach it. I somehow find both and attach the camera.
5:50 - I run upstairs and install new batteries to robot B and turn it on. Nothing happens, it is completely non-functional. I think at this time people are sensing something is wrong. The world is imploding around me. I feel a like being sick. I have no show.
5:51 - I discover that robot A will work if I pinch its sensor stalk together, there must be a problem with it so I again, run down stairs. Hope.
5:52 - Talking my self through everything, I turn on the soldering iron, set up the bot, find a broken weld on the middle of the three wires coming off the infrared sensor, re-attach it, test the bot, and run back upstairs. All in my nice clothes.
6:00 - Drop the bot back into the arena. People start coming into the gallery.
6:02 - After some quick tests (my afternoon of fine tuning was ruined) I closed off the cube leaving the bot to fend for it self.

Thats what I remember anyway, it was all kind of a blur. Megan had to take me for a slow walk around Dittmann and put cold water on my face to get me presentable again, but I was kind of a mess for the entire opening. The robot did get stuck at about 6:30 (because all my tuning was messed up) but Isac one of the prof's sons who is about seven came up to me and announced triumphantly "I was watching your robot and I saw it get stuck!!" He was very proud, it was cute.

Now its working great of course, because I got some time to fine tune its senses. It is still going to take a lot of babysitting. I will be spending lots of time in the gallery this week I am sure. Blog from the gallery next time!

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