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Chico MacMurtrie

Chico MacMurtrie

Bereich: Medienkunst

Key Facts






New York

Empfehlende Institution

SCHAURAUM Angewandte


Mai 2019 - Mai 2019

Since the late 1980s, Chico MacMurtrie has explored the intersection of robotic sculpture, new media installation, and performance. MacMurtrie’s work investigates organic life from deep within, finding geometry in all living systems. Chico MacMurtrie and his interdisciplinary collective Amorphic Robot Works/ARW have received numerous awards for their experimental new media artworks, including five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, theAndy Warhol Foundation Grant, the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, VIDA Life 11.0, and Prix Ars Electronica. Chico MacMurtrie was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts in 2016.

MacMurtrie/ARW’s works have been presented in major museums and cultural institutions around the world including the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), Beijing; Hayward Gallery, London; Museo de la Reina Sofia, Madrid; Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Paris; Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo (MUAC), Mexico City; Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY; Shanghai Biennale; Tri Postal, Lille, (retrospective exhibition), Muffatwerk, Munich (Pneuma World); Ex-Dogana, Rome, and ZHI Art Museum, Chengdu. Current exhibitions include: Useless: Machines for Dreaming, Thinking, and Seeing, curated by Gerardo Mosquera, Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Mundos Alternos, Art and Science Fiction in the Americas, Queens Museum, New York in 2019.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

Chico MacMurtrie, recent drawings from the Border Crossers series, Institute for the Humanities Gallery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Live Robotic Border Crossers performances, University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), Ann Arbor, MI

Pneuma Fountain, Stift Kremsmuenster, in collaboration with Ars Electronica and OO Landesartenschau, Austria

Pneuma World, retrospective exhibition of Inflatable Soft-Machines, Muffathalle, Munich, Germany
Border Crosser, temporary public art installation, commission by ZERO1, City Hall Plaza, San José, CA

Biomorphic Wall / Border Crosser, Pioneer Works, Center for Art and Innovation, Brooklyn, NY

2013 – 2015
The Robotic Church, a site-specific installation and public performance series at the ARW studio in Brooklyn, NY

Chrysalis, Pioneer Works, Center for Art and Innovation, Brooklyn, NY Chrysalis, MOCA, Tucson, AZ

Selected Group Exhibitions

Mundos Alternos, Art and Science Fiction in the Americas, Queens Museum, New York, NY Useless: Machines for Dreaming, Thinking, and Seeing, curated by Gerardo Mosquera, Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, NY

Open, curated by Zhang GA in collaboration with Chronus Art Center, Shanghai, ZHI Art Museum Chengdu, China (cat.)

Mundos Alternos, University of California Riverside (UCR), Riverside, CA as part of Pacific Standard Time LA/LA (September 2017 – March 2018) ; (cat.)
Creature Digitali, curated by Montxo Algora, Ex-Dogana, Rome (cat.)
The New Inflatable Moment, curated by Mary Hale and Katarzyna Balug, Boston Society of Architects BSA, Boston, MA

Nearly Human, curated by Jasia Reichardt, Laznia Center for Contemporary Art, Gdansk, Poland ; (cat.)

Thing World, New Media Arts Triennial, curated by Zhang GA, NAMOC, Beijing, China ; (cat.)
Alive / Eveil, curated by Sylvie Parent, Sesc Santana, Sao Paulo, Brazil ; (cat.)
Art Robotique, curated by Richard Castelli, Cite des Science et de l’Industrie, Paris, France ; (cat.)

The Wizard’s Chamber, Kunsthalle Winthertur, Switzerland
Kinesthetics: Art Imitating Life, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, NY ; (cat.)


The project for my residency in Vienna is to finalize my „Border Crossers“ prototype and prepare it for an exhibition in Vienna.

Border Crossers comprise a series of lightweight robotic sculptures that poetically explore the notion of borders and boundary conditions. The inflatable sculptures rise up to several stories high and extend across a given threshold. Their choreographed performance, originating on both sides of the border, would stage a symbolic connection. The project treats the border as a physical condition that can be temporarily transcended by technological proxies. It offers a critique of militarized geopolitical borders, and a metaphorical suspension of those borders in the form of temporary arches.

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