NY Edition

Red Hook’s Amorphic Robot Works turns metal into life

The Robotic Church, courtesy The New York Times

Hail Mecha

Red Hook has long been home to strange forms – after all, this is where noted madman and writer H.P Lovecraft first created Cthulu.

As the founder of Amorphic Robot Works, multimedia artist Chico MacMurtrie has transformed the former Norwegian Seaman’s Church in Red Hook into the The Robotic Church, where more than 35 moving robots perform a clanking orchestral piece of sorts (what MacMurtrie calls “masses”).

MacMurtrie has been building robots since 1987 – mostly human forms, shaped out of welded iron rods, pneumatic tubes, and more. “As our human society is being taken over by technology, we have to reflect and think about the human condition,” he said.

While The Robot Church is probably ARW’s best known work, it is only part of an ever-growing oeuvre. Last month, MacMurtrie and the ARW’s Biomorphic Wall hung at Pioneer Works, a writhing collection of 30-foot tall fabric tubes.

ARW is always on the hunt for talented engineers, fabricators, and administrators – get in touch with them here if you’re interested.

You can check out video of The Robotic Church here. If you want to find out about future performances, check out their Facebook page here.

Now go forth (and get robotic).


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