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laminate flooring, toothpicks, robot

Weed is an art installation performed by a autonomous robot. Its primary function is to glue toothpicks to the floor, resulting in the creation of a relief sculpture in the form of a beautiful branching weed.

How It Works: A free-floating laminate flooring is snapped into place covering a portion of the gallery floor. Six toothpicks are glued to the floor by hand where we want the artbot to begin. When turned on, the robot will begin gluing toothpicks to the floor in a simple branching pattern similar to the following.

Origins of This Project: This artwork grew out of an observation in Remo Campopiano's garden. The initial seed of this idea came from a common garden weed. Curious about its branching, Campopiano pulled the weed and left it to dry. This weed grows along the ground from its center in an extraordinary radial branching pattern. Once dry the weed was mounted on a flat white canvas as seen above.

In an attempt to mimic these branching patterns, we began placing toothpicks down on the floor. Since this was a fastidious and tedious job, we started to wondered if this process could be done by a robot on a large museum floor.

After much debate among the three A.R.T. collaborators, it was determined that the engineering needed for this robot was more suited for an MIT graduate program and the idea was shelved. Later, after much consideration and simplification, we decided to give it a try.

Yes, it was difficult, very difficult and we had many failures along the way. As you can see, we are up to prototype 5.1 of the "Beav" (our nickname for this bot). Finally, it works! We're going to Dublin :)

A.R.T. is an art collaborative in the USA made up of Remo Campopiano, Guy Marsden and Jonathan. We came together in 2001 to create a piece for the Complexity exhibition at the Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, NY. Our collaboration produced Eight-bit Ant Farm Since then we have formalized our collective under the name A.R.T. (Art Re-envisions Technology) and have been working on a number of new projects including Three Blind Mice.

Acknowledgements: ???

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