October 1, 2010 AT 11:03 am

Escape (Robot Birds)

“Escape” is a piece by artist Neil Mendoza:

In city life, we are constantly surrounded by our own and other people’s mobile phones, which endlessly bleat for attention. This installation takes these familiar, often stressful and annoying sounds, and creates an inverted reality in which these noises pique people’s curiousty, and make them want to use their phones in a playful manner. It’s about taking the worst of modern life – disposable unwanted phones and unwanted noises – and turning them into something beautiful.

This piece is a collaboration with Anthony Goh. The installation consists of a tree containing the birds. Each bird consists of a load of broken phone junk, just enough of one phone for it to continue working and an Ardiuno Mini. The working phone communicates via serial to the Arduino that then decides how the bird should move, when it should answer calls (from the public or other birds) and when it should make calls.

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