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Brett J. Doar
Paperclips, solenoids, wood, insulated wire, metal, AC-DC power

ROBOZOIC is a collection of very primitive robots, who wander around a surface and leave evidence of their journeys in the form of "drawings" through carbon paper, as well as leaving tracks in sand. The robots are on a protozoan level, and wander around somewhat in the same way that a paramecium might wander around in a drop of water, bumping into one another or into the boundary of their "arena", and eventually finding new paths. The computer that controls them is like a music box: it consists of a cylinder with pins in it which turns switches on and off, and these switches feed electricity to solenoids (electromagnets which depress a plunger when activated). The program is utterly simple: it is only intended to turn switches on and off and to alternate them, so that "legs" will lift and lower, and not all go off at the same time. The creatures go where they want within their boundaries, and even though there is no question of their cognitive intelligence, a kind of innate mechanical intelligence becomes imaginable, something that is even easier to imagine when confronted by the strange aesthetic of their drawings. I am intrigued by the idea of emotional machines, of the soul of a machine. I like to consider whether a machine is "happy" or "sad", and what their feelings are towards one another.

Born in 1972, Brett Doar grew up in North Carolina, where as a child he made a number of stop-motion earthquake disaster films (all of which were lost), experimented with explosives, and dug a lot of large holes in his backyard in an unsuccessful attempt to build a network of tunnels. He studied Architecture, Literature, Linguistics, and Film at approximately 4 universities (but who's counting?) in North Carolina, Massachusetts and New York City. He has worked as a Commercial Fisherman in the Bering Sea, a Bus Driver/Tour Guide in Nantucket MA, a Film/Video Editor, and is currently a Middle School Special Education Teacher in the South Bronx, NY. He has lived in Astoria, Queens, NY since 1996, and is represented by several galleries in New York City. He is also the inventor of the HUFFYPHONIC GYROBANSHEE 1000, a rotary analog-electronic musical instrument that is played by manipulating arpeggios.

Acknowledgements: Jim Rodgers, for donations of material, and Andrew Hotis, as a "drawings consultant".

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