homomunculus agora (h.a.)
Associate Professor, Computational Arts
homunculus agora (h.a) is a large-scale architectonic installation of several dozen sculptural bodies (homunculi) that are organized in a fluid-like cluster, appearing at the Markham Museum in the Land|Slide Possible Futures exhibit from September 21st- October 14th 2013, and the and Farm-to-Table exhibit from January 2014 – August 2014. The homunculi are implanted with electronic circuits that give them the ability to express behavioural qualities through light and sound events. A selection of the homunculi are touch sensitive and are positioned to invite people to touch the work. In doing so, the touch sensitive homunculi react with emotive sound and light responses. The Homunculus derives its name from an alchemically made creature that looks like a miniature of its creator. This is a metaphor for the relation of the technology we create to ourselves, which is deeply connected to our bodies and the way we perceive the world. The term Agora is a Greek word describing a place for gathering. The Homunculi gather in the museum to facilitate an exchange of emotive expression in an ecology of form, light, and sound. It becomes a gathering place for people to reflect on the connection we have with the environment and the world around us. A context for a marketplace of ideas.
The homunculus refers to a series of algorithmically derived sculptural bodies (homunculi) built as part of a file-to-factory digital fabrication process that involved generative modelling, CNC milling, and casting of a fibre-composite exoskeleton in the York Digital Sculpture Lab and nD::StudioLab.