Sculptor Nemo Gould makes robots out of found objects
September 9, 2008 2:04 PM   Subscribe

Sculptor Nemo Gould makes robots out of found objects.
posted by lee (28 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
NSFW (robo-genitalia)?
posted by retronic at 2:11 PM on September 9, 2008

(Also, pretty cool.)
posted by retronic at 2:12 PM on September 9, 2008

Thanks for posting this! I love his stuff. His sculptures were one of the highlights of the Maker Faire for me. Moai was simultaneously menacing and soothing.

I left the booth wishing I had more disposable income and with a bit of a crush.
posted by annaramma at 2:25 PM on September 9, 2008

Thanks for the post, HUMAN.
posted by clearly at 2:32 PM on September 9, 2008

Previously, Mr Woo's robots
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:32 PM on September 9, 2008

also, he's really cute, that Nemo Gould guy...ahem. I'll be going now...
posted by supermedusa at 2:38 PM on September 9, 2008

Awesome post. I love this Nemo Gould guy. Some inventor child part of myself is overjoyed that there is a grownup in the world who makes fun stuff out of all that interesting junk.

Some of them are dark, like this one. Ew, those teeth. Fun.

Great find lee. I think these are particularly wonderful and beautiful.
posted by nickyskye at 4:41 PM on September 9, 2008

Better thumbnails link of his work.
posted by nickyskye at 4:50 PM on September 9, 2008

I wouldn't call those "found" objects. I would call them "selected" objects. And then he manipulates them to death. Way way too slick for me.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 6:45 PM on September 9, 2008


They're fucking paperweights, sculptures at best, for Cory Doctorow to grind his hips against.

There's not even motion, much less autonomous reaction to environment!
posted by blasdelf at 7:08 PM on September 9, 2008

What is it with you guys? Unable to use the dictionary?

"A found object, in an artistic sense, indicates the use of an object which has not been designed for an artistic purpose, but which exists for another purpose already. Found objects may exist either as utilitarian, manufactured items, or things (including, at times, dead bodies) which occur in nature. In both cases the objects are discovered by the artist or musician to be capable of being employed in an artistic way, and are designated as "found" to distinguish them from purposely created items used in the art forms."

A robot is a mechanical or virtual artificial agent. In practice, it is usually an electro-mechanical system which, by its appearance or movements, conveys a sense that it has intent or agency of its own. The word robot can refer to both physical robots and virtual software agents, but the latter are usually referred to as bots. There is no consensus on which machines qualify as robots, but there is general agreement among experts and the public that robots tend to do some or all of the following: move around, operate a mechanical arm, sense and manipulate their environment, and exhibit intelligent behavior, especially behavior which mimics humans or animals."
posted by nickyskye at 8:33 PM on September 9, 2008

A little imagination goes a long way (in finding objects and making robots).
posted by lee at 9:29 PM on September 9, 2008

Sorry nicky, but his work does none of those robot-ish things. They're statues in the style of costumes from crappy movies.

They're made from trendy baubles cynically cultivated to elicit orgasm from manchildren like Cory Doctorow. The materials are only 'found' in the sense that his raw materials are not available in bulk — there's little real constraint in how they are used, only in theme.
posted by blasdelf at 9:31 PM on September 9, 2008

They are not robots that do tasks or take over the world, they are works of art. Robot is a label for the form they take. They are not made from trendy baubles, they are made from junk; old vacuum cleaner parts, street lamp covers, or hammer drill bodies. There is no constraint in how they are used because that is his art. It's art, that is the idea, to do as one wishes to illicit response. You are under no obligation to enjoy it as he is under no obligation to please you. It is not about semantics.
posted by lee at 10:18 PM on September 9, 2008

lol blasdelf, thanks for the apology.

You seem to be bugged by Cory Doctorow. Are you jealous of him or something? What do you have against him and why do you keep referring to him in regard to these works of art?

These robots, the kinetic ones, do move and/or by their appearance convey a sense that they have intent or agency of their own. The robots are made from waste, recycled garbage, vintage junk, picked up at the dump. Yes, that means found objects.

Are the found objects you prefer made of some specially found thing not available in the dump? Or is the foundness to do with the ugliness quotient, if it's attractive then it can't be "found"?

And what do you think constraint has to do with an artist creating robots from found objects? What does "there's little real constraint in how they are used, only in theme" mean?
posted by nickyskye at 10:19 PM on September 9, 2008

I don't think he was really apologizing.
posted by lee at 10:26 PM on September 9, 2008

lol, lee, I know. Just pulling his leg.
posted by nickyskye at 10:40 PM on September 9, 2008

I guess I'm still waiting for "The Winter Market" to describe reality.
posted by Kattullus at 10:43 PM on September 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

io9 also appreciating Nemo Gould's work.

This astonishing Viking mega-robot, known as Little Big Man, is controlled by another robot nestled in a neon cave within the big Viking's radio cabinet chest. It's one of the latest sculptures by Nemo Gould, whose awesome recycled robot stylings we've raved about before. Gould built Little Big Man for a show about robots at the San Jose Museum of Art. Check out what happens when he moves, plus see some more of Gould's recent work.
posted by nickyskye at 11:11 PM on September 9, 2008

I called the materials "trendy baubles" in the sense that they're exactly the sort of shiny technocrap that the "steampunk" asshats will latch onto when they exhume the 1930s.

As for "there's little real constraint in how they are used, only in theme": I meant that the materials do not satisfy my primary condition for "found" — that there is some constraint in source or integrity of the materials. As in: the photos in a collage all came from one magazine, or all the pieces of a sculpture were once one automobile, or from the contents of an evictee's apartment, or the piece is primarily one found object that has been adorned or enshrined, etc.

The only constraint I see is that some of the materials (often just tacked onto gherish stainless-steel blobs) are shiny/electro/junk that resembles stuff from the 30s or Fritz Lang, calculated to tickle the fancy of people who bought into the goth scene in the 90s but are now 38-year-old homeowners with infants. It's like he picks them out of a tag cloud at boingboing.

this is my main problem with Cory Doctorow — there's dozens of others terrific takedowns of the asshat in that thread too
posted by blasdelf at 11:47 PM on September 9, 2008

Isn't Steampunk more antique looking? I think these Robots are more Art Deco than Steampunk, if you must label them. But I still think you are missing the whole point. It's ok if you don't like them. I think they are supposed to be a little scary.
posted by lee at 12:19 AM on September 10, 2008

I guess the fact that he's the artist-in-residence at the San Francisco Dump, going through millions of peoples discarded stuff, is kinda like cutting out photos for a collage from one magazine, or the contents of an evictee's apartment....How about, 'It's not my thing' and moving on. Instead you crap on his art then needlessly drag Cory Doctorow through the mud with him. I'm no fan of Cory but sheesh. Nemo's work, however, rocks and I appreciate the post.
posted by hangingbyathread at 12:30 AM on September 10, 2008 [2 favorites]

ok. it's not my thing. moving on.
posted by blasdelf at 12:47 AM on September 10, 2008

Thanks, sincerely.
posted by hangingbyathread at 12:50 AM on September 10, 2008

I'm proud to call Nemo a friend of mine. He's had this vision for sculpture that goes back to the 90's. It is artists like Nemo that years ago worked with other artists to kindled the embers of art that commonly are put into the Steampunk label now, a decade later. Its his vision. His vision. And he creates art that manifests it. In my circles, getting the SF Dump gig is a real honor, and he's deserved it for a long time.

So what's your vision? Who's FPPing your art? Maybe there's robot makers in this thread that want to protect the label on their work, and that I support. But if you're not, WTF? The obvious answer: crap away. His robots don't move? Drop trousers and let go. Don't lose this opportunity to shit on Nemo and lee, too. Let lee have it for be being so crass to post such crap on holy MeTa with her reckless use of terms of holy writ that can't mean anything else than your definition. Oh, and got someone else you hate? Drag them in here and let go on them too. Jesus.

On preview: Oh look - he said he was Nemo's friend. I must be blinded by my sycophantic devotion to a turd-producing junkyard shitslinger. Oh -- and I forgot some punctuation in the rant above! Don't let me get away with that. What author out there also ruffles your feathers lazily omitting marks? That ee cummings: what a loser douchebag idiot. So chug the Metamucil -- you've got more work to do!
posted by buzzv at 9:00 AM on September 11, 2008

Now in case it was obscured by the smoke from my rant, I want to make it clear:

Viva Nemo!
Viva lee!
posted by buzzv at 9:08 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks buzzy. I am sure Nemo would get a laugh out of "THESE AREN'T FUCKING ROBOTS OK?"
It's fine if they don't like it and I think that their reaction adds to the power of the art. If it wasn't so good, they would not react so forcefully!
posted by lee at 6:17 PM on September 11, 2008

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