Tuesday, October 14, 2014

MAD Artist in Residence

MAD (The Museum of Art and Design) in New York City offers an artist in residency program.  While we were at the museum to see the Biennial, we stopped by to see if there were any artists in their studios.  Lucky for us, Ricardo Cid was hard at work, but happy to stop and chat with us.

Ricardo is a mechanical engineer from Mexico who was combining his technical expertise with art pursuits.  He was making three-dimensional, solar powered "robots" in various geometric shapes that would rotate, spin and dance (as he called it).   He's created installations in Brooklyn in which large robots rotate in time with a music track Ricardo created, making a lovely synchronized moving display. He completed the installation with lights and a bit of fog.  He showed us the video and we were all impressed.

Ricardo's work space at MAD, with computer for programming and robots in various stages of completion

You can watch a video here that shows how four different robots respond to the same piece of music.  It also gives you a small sense of all the thought, planning, and engineering that goes into each piece.

While at MAD, Ricardo was working out the kinks on some smaller models that were serving as prototypes for a larger installation he was hoping to place outdoors, in trees.  He could visualize the trees and "robots" moving in tandem.  In this case, he was calling his robots ballerinas, as they danced with the wind and the trees.

So, so, cool.

Aside from creating dancing robots, Ricardo also used his scientific brain to restructure the calendar into interconnected atomic forms -- representing months -- that also showed moon phases and relative position to the Aztec calendar.  I didn't understand it all, but who cares?  I get excited when I meet someone whose brain follows paths I can't even imagine.

Ricardo's 2014 Neo-Aztec calendar.  Love the gear-like months!

I'm going to be on the lookout for more artists in residence so I can witness more creative thinking.


1 comment:

Natalya Aikens said...

LOL love the title of this post! Great post, Ricardo was inspiring!