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Utility Kinetic Insect crawling onto a paddock near you

Hold on to your britches, and strap on your cups because Burning Seed is just around the corner. Here at the ARTery we couldn’t be more excited about this years outstanding art collection. One amazing creation is the Utility Kinetic Insect, manifested by the massive communal effort of the Melbourne Make Mob, lead by Callan Morgan. We caught up with Callan to learn more about this outstanding piece.

The Utility Kinetic Insect, or UKI for short, is part art installation, part mobile DJ stage, and part robotic insect. The entire sculpture has been mounted onto a 4-wheel drive frame, allowing its mutant form to move around the paddock. UKI creates a micro environment of immediacy and participation as she slowly crawls along leading a procession of dancing fans moths.

Humans swarm to its hypnotic lights

 

This interactive piece is a combination of art and technology. Mechanic meets organic in the robotic exoskeleton. The kinetic legs and wings move independently, powered by electric actuators. UKI’s wings have been fitted with stunning LED arrays and the lighting is synchronised to the dynamic sound system within the body.

UKI was inspired by the resilient biological life in the harsh Australian outback.

Callan has a background in circus; including building props and rigging events. He assisted with a few large burner art pieces before deciding to start his own collaboration: The Make Mob, a collection of artists, designers, and technical experts who radically fuse art and technology. They started in 2016 with UKI being the first collaborative project.

 

UKI is a love-child born of passion, purpose, perseverance, and giving it a red hot go. Building and touring this art piece has taught the group a plethora of new skills which they are keen to apply to future creations. We hear that these may be botanical in nature, and include solar panelling!

 

Callan and his team were originally awarded an Art Grant for UKI back in 2016. Unfortunately for everyone that was a soggier year than most! But the team were not deterred. They pushed ahead with making UKI and took her to Burning Man in 2017. UKI has also scuttled her way into the Oregon Global Eclipse Festival (2017), White Night celebrations in Melbourne and Ballarat (2018), and even across to Tassie for a steampunk convention (2018). We are thrilled to finally meet UKI at Seed this year.

 

UKI Collaborators:

  • Callan Morgan – Project Lead / Lead creative
  • Benjamin Coppel – Lighting Lead
  • Justin Maynard & Fin liam Ominal – Lighting
  • Chris Mock – Electronics
  • Ravi Bessabava – Software
  • Jim Moynihan & Gareth Burnell – Sound

 

The Make Mob strive to produce original and collaborative works that benefit communities and the environment. You can check out more on their Facebook page.

Interested in Applying for Art Grants or Registering your Art? Check out all the details here.

Posted in Art, Blog.