Fellow: Awarded 2016
Field of Study: Fine Arts
Competition: US & Canada
Chico MacMurtrie explores the intersection between technology, art, science, and architecture through his robotic sculpture, installations and performances. MacMurtrie is the Founder and Artistic Director of Amorphic Robot Works (ARW), a collective of artists, engineers, musicians, and scientists, that has received critical acclaim since its inception in 1991.
MacMurtrie has long been fascinated with the sculptural expression of soft movement as it is observed in living systems and micro-organisms. Since 2005, MacMurtrie/ARW have pioneered the use of lightweight composite fabric to create dynamic, large-scale soft machines evoking metamorphosing molecular structures.
MacMurtrie’s studio in Brooklyn, New York is known as the Robotic Church, where an ensemble of 50 robotic sculptures perform to the public on selected dates. This unique site-specific installation and performance series has been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, New York Public Radio and other media.
MacMurtrie has received five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the Art Matters Grant, Lannon Grant and the Andy Warhol Foundation Grant. In 2008, MacMurtrie received the VIDA Life 11.0 Third Prize in Hybrid Art. Other distinctions and fellowships include: Prix Ars Electronica, CEC Artslink, New York Foundation for the Arts.
The work of MacMurtrie/ARW has been exhibited widely in the US and abroad, including at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn; Beall Center for Art + Technology, Irvine, Calif.; Australian Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide; Shanghai Biennial (China); New Media Triennial, Beijing (China); Cité des Science et de l’Industrie, Paris (France); Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; Museo de la Reina Sofía, Madrid (Spain); and Hayward Gallery, London (GB).
MacMurtrie/ARW are currently working on the creation of several 60-foot-tall inflatable, robotic Border Crossers to be installed at the U.S.-Mexico border and other borders around the world.