Created by the SCI-Arc Faculty members Curime Batliner and Jake Newsum for the for the third annual Mextropoli Festival, Spheres of Influence is a temporary installation installed in the patio of Laboratorio Arte Alameda. Part installation and part live performance, it uses a robotic system from Staubli to paint layers of graphics (abstracted from the city) onto a series of human-scale spheres.
“Very much how our cell phones change the way we navigate and entertain ourselves in the public space, the robot, a device with high attention value, influenced and changed the way people navigated public space. Some people stopped in amazement, curiosity, skepticism, or to ask questions; while others did not bother at all but had to move around the people already standing there.” –– Batliner
Stretching from Parque Alameda to Bosque de Chapultepec, the spherical paintings showed lifelines of the city, most importantly Insurgentes and Paseo Reforma. The dynamic patterns, and delivery, were designed as an allegory for how technology transforms public space, and how citizens navigate cities differently than 10–or even five years–ago. The spheres were painted throughout the festival, supporting the notion of a constant state of flux.
“We wanted to create a small infrastructure, a temporary platform for dialog that is very positive about technological progress, but respects and embraces the past as a starting point to discuss the future,” –– Batliner
The project uses a number of Stäubli TX60L Industrial Robots controlled by Val3 – Custom MotionControl Application created via a custom Grasshopper Interface for Robotic Motionplaning. Also used were Mcneel Rhino 5 and Grasshopper3D.
Project was design and produced by Curime Batliner & Jake Newsum with sponsorship from Southern California Institute of Architecture and support from Staubli.