Matthew Gardiner (AU)

-1 (UG) Ars Electronica Labs

The artist in residence of the Ars Electronica Futurelab, Matthew Gardiner, works ijn the field of “Oribotics”, which explores connections between nature, origami and robotics. Matthew Gardiners “Oribots” have grown in over 1,400 working hours in the FabLab of the Ars Electronica Center. The micro interactions occur with sensors, inside each bot a proximity sensor measures objects in front of its “mouth”. If a hand approaches, the oribot blossom opens, causing 1,050 folds to actuate in the bot. Macro interactions occur via the network and software; each micro interaction is broadcast to every other oribot in the installation, causing the sympathetic movements of 26,250 folds across the entire installation, creating a stunningly complex moving image. In an oribotic pattern, actuating a single fold causes every other fold to move; each fold is mechanically interconnected.

Artist/Oriboticist: Matthew Gardiner (AU)
Electronic Designer: Ray Gardiner
Produced in partnership with Novamedia and the Australia Council for the Arts, assisted by the City of Port Phillip through the Rupert Bunny Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship.
Developed in collaboration with the Ars Electronica Futurelab and the Institute of Polymer Product Engineering of the Johannes Kepler University.


Matthew Gardiner, born Shepparton, Australia.

In 2003, Gardiner defined a new field of research called Oribotics to describe his work across the diverse disciplines of origami, biomimetics, and robotics. This work grew primarily out of his fascination with the aesthetic of kinetic origami, and has evolved over a series of five generations of Oribots (2010/2009/2007/2005/2004), each a robotic flower, identified by the latin term “Mechaniflorum Quinquiplicaticum”. Gardiner’s early installations were concerned with networks and global connectivity. Oribotics [laboratory] connected the oribots with changing weather patterns, and Oribotics [network] with changing XML feeds.

Gardiner’s latest generation, Oribotics [futurelab] are localised, using ultrasonic sensors to give them immediate awareness of proximate objects. This awareness generates micro interactions that are conveyed to the host computer and communicated to the network as a macro effect, akin a pebble drop creating ripples on a pool of water. Each new oribotics generation takes the primary concern of longevity, seeking to grant each new generation with an extension of life through innovations in materials and technical research.