Geoffrey Drake-Brockman - Artist   

Geoffrey Drake-Brockman specialises in interactive, robotic, and optical installations; in addition to working with metal fabrication and other sculptural media. Geoffrey has been exhibiting since 1986 with shows in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Singapore, Denmark, New York, and London. He has shown work at the National Gallery of Australia, The Singapore Art Museum, The Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, the Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award, and Sculpture by the Sea - in Bondi, Cottesloe, and Aarhus (Denmark). Public art commissions completed include the robotic sculpture "Totem" at the Perth Arena, and "Spiral" at the Western Australian Police Headquarters. Geoffrey studied Computer Science at The University of Western Australia before completing a Master's degree in Visual Arts at Curtin University. Geoffrey was born in Woomera, South Australia in 1964 and is based in Perth, Western Australia.

"My background in Computer Science informs my project
to create automata – interactive, self-determined, expressive machines - that explore issues at the edge of humanity: machines interchangeable with persons, aspects of political accountability, love, and attraction in flux at this boundary." In his practice Geoffrey combines his interest in gothic horror themes with the politics of social determination through technology, and commonplace metaphors such as clockwork music boxes, flower-pots, doorways, origami shapes, and portrait relief. See the artist's TEDx Talk "Created Beings" in the right hand panel for more explanation.
 

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Solar
                Jayne at Cotteloe
Solar Jane Sunset
Solar Jayne, 2014 - Cast Marble, Solar Panels, Robotics
Solar Jayne is a "spin-off" from The Coppelia Project. She is a life size ballerina modelled after Jayne Smeulders of the West Australian Ballet. The body is made out of cast marble to withstand the elements and the mechanism draws power from the sun. Solar energy allows Jayne to pirouette, while she "spots" with her head. You need to press her buttons to make her go. If you press the "right" button she goes 'round and 'round, if you press the "wrong" button she just shakes her head. (Solar Jayne is a "binary" automata - she has only two states).






Rain on
                Water Deatail 1
Rain on Water Deatail 2
Rain on Water, 2014 - Aluminium, Lacquer
This work is based on the action of ripples from raindrops propagating across a still water surface. The work is a relief sculpture frieze that runs the full 40m width of the central concourse of Butler Train Station. It is made up of a regular grid of some 1,200 anodised aluminium rods mounted on a reflective surface. Each rod is topped with a brightly coloured square end-cap. The length of each rod and the colour of its cap are calculated according to a wave propagation and interference algorithm written for the project.






Readwqrite Wave
                Propogation
Readwrite Checkerboard Pattern
Readwrite, 2014 - Robotics, Aluminium, Pneumatics
Readwrite is located on the front elevation of the NEXTDC Data Centre in Malaga, Wextern Australia. It is a robotic artwork some 10m in length, with 24 pneumatically actuated rotating elements, controlled by a microprocessor. Motion sequences on Readwrite are triggered by the detection of charged "muon" particles. Muons are terrestrial Cosmic Rays generated in the upper atmosphere by interactions with high-energy particles which originate from from distant supernovae and from the accretion disks of supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei. Readwrite has four Muon detectors - with one mounted at each corner of the work. When a Cosmic Ray hits one of the corners of the work, a wave propagation motion sequence begins from that point.






Coppelia Doll One
                3/4 Length The Coppelia Project, 2013 - Robotics
The Coppelia Project involves the creation of a troupe of four robot ballerinas able to learn and perform ballet dance movements and interact with an audience.  The Coppelia Project is inspired by the story about a clockwork girl from the ballet "Coppelia" by Delibes, based on a story by Hoffmann. See the Artist's TEDx Talk for background regarding the project and visit the Coppelia Project web site for more detailed information. Video Preview of Dancing Robot Here.






Totem at Perth Areana Totem Translight at
                Perth Arena

Totem / Translight, 2012, 11,000 x 3,200 x 3,200 cm, Aluminium, Steel, Robotics, Laser Projectors
Totem is an interactive spatial robot. It has 108 reconfigurable petals and is able to react to pedestrian movement. Totem incorporates a laser projection artwork titled "Translight" that projects nightly onto the Eastern wall of the Perth Arena. Totem / Translight is a permanent public art commission installed at the Perth Arena. Totem has been nicknamed "The Pineapple" by the people of Perth. Watch the video here. Totem landing Page here.








Spiral
Spiral at Police
                Headquarters

Spiral, 2012, 9,000 x 2,000 x 2,000 cm, Granite, Stainless Steel
Spiral is an ascending, twisting, form - with a complex faceted white granite base and an interlocking geometric superstructure of stainless steel prisms.  This work is a permanent public art commission and is installed at the of the Western Australian Police Headquarters in Northbridge, at the corner of Roe and Fitzgerald Streets. 








Floribot

Floribots, 2005/2007/2010, 800 x 400 x 120 cm, Robotics, Origami, Stainless Steel, Lacquer, Hardboard
Floribots consists of 128 computer-controlled robot origami flowers, arranged in an 8-by-16 grid and spread over 35 square metres of floor space. Each robot flower is able to extend telescopically from a rest condition to grow one metre vertically, then suddenly invert its origami “flower” into an open “bloom” state. The unit can also refold its origami bloom back into a “bud”. Floribots is an interactive collective organism with "hive mind” characteristics. It is capable of sensing audience movement and of adapting its behaviours accordingly. It is a “field of flowers” that dances in unison, with choreography provided by its embedded microcontroller. The flower matrix can exhibit complex wave propagation behaviours as well as responsive surface features and can enter periods of chaotic motion. The Floribot mind is able to control transitions between these states and can “learn” as it is runs over time by acclimatising itself to an installation site and developing a particular set of behaviour preferences. Winner Peoples Choice Award, National Sculpture Prize. Also exhibited at Perth Institute of Contemporary Art 2007, and Singapore Art Museum 2010. Video of Floribots can be seen here. Floribots is the subject of a catalogue essay by Dr Benjamin Joel.







Headspace in Chaos Headspace with Face Headspace, 2010, 150 x 150 x 80cm, Robotics, Electronics, Digital Face Scan Data, Polished Aluminium
Headspace is a matrix of 256 motorised rods. Each rod is able to extrude some 400mm. It is an interactive kinetic sculpture with four motion detectors able to detect human presence. It is permanently installed at Christ Church Grammar School, in Perth, Western Australia, where it was commission to commemorated the 100th year of the school. The system is loaded with 3D scan data based on the faces of over 700 schoolchildren, the rod matrix is able to assume these face-like forms as well as morph between them and perform geometric transitions. Video available here.






Counter at Cotteloe Conter in Perth City Counter, 2009, 325 x 325 x 120cm, Electronics, Electromechanical Digits, Acrylic Paint, Hardboard
Counter was first installed near the entrance to the Perth Underground Train Station in the Central Business District of Perth, Australia. Since then it has counted on the beach at Cottesloe, Western Australia, and at Aarhus, in Denmark.  The work is a temporary installation originally commissioned by the City of Perth as part of its "Transart" urban art initiative. Counter is an interactive installation that literally counts each pedestrian that walks though its archway. Counter is capable of counting up to one less than a billion, after which it will clock-over and go back to zero. The work is powered by solar energy. The concept for Counter arises from various notions, one of which is the imperative to “be counted” or “make sure you count” that is part of our shared liberal democratic cultural heritage. In addition, the work carries overtones of surveillance and scientific measurement. Watch the video here and here.






Clockwork Jayne Clockwork Jayne
                Detail Clockwork Jayne, 2009, 200 x 80 x 80 cm, Clockwork, Electrical Components, Fibregless, Acrylic, Lacquer
Clockwork Jayne is a life-sized ballerina figure mounted on a faceted mirror base. When its clockwork mechanism is wound up, the ballerina pivots slowly and a tune plays quietly until the spring winds down. The work draws on childhood memories of my sisters' little clockwork music boxes, with ballerinas that popped up and rotated in front of a mirror when you open the lid. Clockwork Jayne was exhibited at the Holmes a'Court Gallery in Perth, Western Australia. Clockwork Jayne was produced with assistance from the West Australian Ballet and its principle dancer, Jayne Smeulders. Video can be seen here.






Optobot
Optobot Detail
Optobot, 2008, 100 x 230 cm, LEDs, Electronics, Microprocessor, Stainless Steel, Printed Vinyl
Optobot is an interactive optical wall panel incorporating four motion detectors and some 3,000 RGB LED lights mounted behind two perforated machine-turned stainless steel sheets. The LEDs shine light onto a printed, coloured, tessellated pattern - the idea being to create colour changes by additive and subtractive mixing of colour. The system uses an embedded microcontroller to create multiple, overlapping "waves in colourspace" that propagate across the work then gradually diminish. Optobot uses a DMX network to control 36 channels of colour mixed light. Optobot is permanently installed at Automotive TAFE in Kwinana, Western Australia.






Parallax Dancer
                Display Prototype
Virtual Ballerina
                3D Scan
Parallax Dancer, Work in progress, 3D Scans, 3D Animation, Computer Hardware
The Parallax Dancer project is creating a virtual ballerina installation artwork based on a synthesis of practices in ballet dance and choreography; 3D digital scanning and animation; custom software development; electronic systems integration; and machine vision. The project is being developed with the assistance of 3D scanning bureau headus metamorphosis. Video documentation of work in progress can be seen here.







Autobot Autobot Detail Autobot, 2008, Robotics, Electronics, Microprocessor, Aluminium, Automotive Components
Autobot is an interactive ceiling-mounted robotic artwork incorporating four motion detectors and 31 electric motors.  The system uses an embedded microcontroller to create waves and transformations that propagate across the work then gradually diminish. Autobot is permanently installed at Automotive TAFE in Kwinana, Western Australia.






Image of Optic Alley

Optic Alley, 2008, Dimensions Variable, Lasers, Servo Motors, Microprocessor, Electronics
Optic Alley is an interactive laser installation consisting of sixteen pivoting green lasers mounted along a twelve metre stretch of narrow laneway. Optic Alley incorporates four motion detectors and a computer control system so that pedestrians approaching the installation trigger a cascading sequences of laser deflections to create waves that progress down the alleyway until they dissipate. Optic Alley sets up the potential for a dance-like performance to emerge, as pedestrians move and sway in response to the lasers and Optic Alley responds in turn to the movement of pedestrians. Optic Alley is the result of a Research and Development grant from the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art and Cultural Sponsorship from the City of Perth.







Anemone at Cotteloe Aneomone View 2 Anemone, 2005, 350 x 200 x 200 cm Robotics, Aluminium, Lycra
Anemone is an interactive robotic sculpture. Anemone means "wind flower", but anemones are actually marine animals.






Image of Transfiction
Transfiction Detail

Transfiction, 2005, 120m Wide Laser Projection
Transfiction uses a laser projection to redefine the surface of a built object - Commonwealth Place, in the Parliamentary Triangle, Canberra. Transfiction’s departure point is a line-matrix or "wireframe" representation of a flat surface. However, rather than projecting only ‘true’ or straight laser vectors onto the built surface, Transfiction uses scanning laser technology to project distorted and altered lines and webs. The work explores fictional geometries,  where the rules of solidity and linearity are temporarily suspended. Located at the symbolic heart of our nation, this work was commissioned by the ACT Government as the entryway to 24:7 Public Art Programme of 2005. 







Essentialiser
                  Detail
Essentialiser
Essentialiser, 2002/2003, Lasers, Video Interactive Installation
Essentialiser is an interactive appliance incorporating 60 small industrial red lasers, installed along three axial mounts. Each laser produces a fan-beam that creates a perfect plane of red light. The effect is that anything or anyone inside Essentialiser is embedded in a matrix of 6,859 ten-centimetre wide cubes of red laser light. Audience participants are able to pass through a door and enter the space where the 60 beams trace lines onto their bodies. The visible effect of the incident beams is picked up via an infra-red video camera and displayed, on a feedback monitor inside the Essentialiser, as well as on a large outside monitor, for the gallery audience to see. Collaboration with Richie Kuhaupt. Essentialiser has been exhibited at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art and at Collaborative Concepts Gallery in Beacon, New York USA.






Laserwrap
Laserwrap Projector

LaserWrap, 2004, Dimensions Variable, Laser Projection Installation
LaserWrap is a permanently installed animated laser sculpture that illuminates the ACT Health Building for three hours each night. Twenty green lasers wrap the building in a gently undulating matrix of light cubes. The artist's vision entailed embedding an existing built object into an active laser sculpture. They wanted to take the classic mathematical system of Cartesian 3-D co-ordinates - consisting of x,y, and z axes - and use it as a metaphor for a virtualising, postindustrial worldview. They wanted to apply this metaphor on a massive scale - the huge step-pyramid presence of the ACT Health Building provided the prefect platform for this experiment. Collaboration with Rickie Kuhaupt. This work was an Exemplar, Year of the Built Environment, 2004.







Torso at Helen Lempriere

Torso, 2004, 185 x 120 x 40 cm, Stainless Steel, Cast Marble
Torso is a life-size human figure derived from a body cast of the artist. The outer parts of Torso are made from mirror-polished stainless steel, while the central section is made from a resin-bonded composite that consists of 75% powdered white marble. The central torso makes reference to archaeological remnants of heroic figures from Greek antiquity. The marble used as the material for this part of the work also plays to this classical reference. The outer parts of the figure are encased in "gloves" of reflective metal that evoke a hi-tech / sci-fi "chrome" signifier. Collaboration with Rickie Kuhaupt. Finalist, Helen Lempriere Sculpture Prize.







Neural Network, 2003, 60 x 120 x 20 cm, Electroformed Copper, Chromium, Fibregless
Neural Network consists of 18 nodes, regularly distributed over a mirror-reflective matrix-form. As the viewer changes orientation the nodes appear to intermittently make and break connections with adjacent nodes. Chrome surface produced by electrofoming over fibreglass. Winner, Princess Margaret Search for Genius Award.






Bubblesort
Bubblesort, 2002, 170 x 80 x 50 cm, Aluminium, Copper, Chromium, Auto Lacquer
Bubblesort is a famous software sorting algorithm. This sculpture actualises the virtual bubblesort construct and credits it with agency and interactive potential. Exhibited Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi and Cottesloe.


 



Pangenesis, Jacobs Ladder, 2000,2002
Pangenesis is a theory of inheritance where genetic information is derived from all parts of an organism. Pangenesis has been discredited in the organic context, but may be a viable schema for reproduction of virtual lifeforms. In this work a virtual being has just reproduced via fission - producing three new offspring. Under pangenesis each offspring has a complete genetic record. Aquired by the David Handley / Sculpture by the Sea Sculpture Collection.

Jacobs Ladder is the ladder leading to heaven as seen by Jacob in his dream; alternatively, it is a device for generating a series of high voltage plasma arcs that ascend between twin diverging conductors before dissipating into the atmosphere.Exhibited Perth Institute of Contemporary Art.







Lasercube Richie in Kings Park
Lasercube Skadada Dancers

Lasercube, 2002, Dimensions Variable, Lasers
Lasercube is a programme exploring the application of planar beams of laser light to describe surfaces, objects and landscapes. The Lasercube technology involves 60 industrial lasers with hemicylindrical lenses. These are mounted on armatures arranged along the x, y, and z spatial axes. The project encompasses the capture of laser effects via video and still photography and the digital manipulation and presentation of these images. Laser beams are coherent, absolute agents that are used in this project to introduce gridding and dividing systems applied to realworld objects. This is done in order to conveniently reduce the object under investigation to its bare spatial necessity. Lasercube is a collaborative project with Richie Kuhaupt. One image shown is of a performance piece (Lasercube II) developed in collaboration with Skadada, dancers; Jon Burtt and Lucy Taylor.







Chromeskin, 2001, 185 x 120 x 40 cm, Electroformed Copper, Chromium, Fibreglass
Chromeskin is the result of a three year collaborative project between Geoffrey Drake-Brockman and Richie Kuhaupt. Chromeskin was a finalist in the 2001 inaugural National Sculpture Prize and Exhibition, and was on exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra from November 30 2001 to March 10 2002. The work was awarded Highly Commended, by the National Sculpture Prize judges.






Quadrascope, 2001, 230 x 110 x 110 cm, Plasma Displays, Computer Hardware and Software
Quadrascope is an omidirectional interface device that displays a large-scale animated version of Chromeskin on each side of a large rectangular prism. The device displays images derived from the Chromeskin laserscan data, processed against the current visual field around it. Observers are able to walk up to and around Quadrascope and approach its surfaces closely. On each face a representation of mirror surfaced Chromeskin is displayed, with the figure reflecting and reacting to the movements of the viewer in realtime. The device is a kind of 'fishtank' giving the impression of a chrome body floating within. The machine uses four networked computers, four video cameras, and four 130cm plasma flat panel displays. Quadrascope is driven by synchronised 3-D rendering software written especially for the artists by headus (metamorphosis).
Quadrascope forms part of the Chromeskin project. Quadrascope was created in collaboration with Richie Kuhaupt. Highly Commended Award, National Sculpture Prize, National Gallery of Australia 2001.







eMISSION
Emission, 2001, 120 x 140 x 100 cm, Cast and Fabricated Aluminium, Auto Lacquer
Emission is an exported cyberterritorian (item/being/process). Here crystallised is the cyborg intermarriage of amorphous, sticky, organic potentials, wetly embracing the rigour of regularly expressed delineated systems. Emission is a denizen of the digital realm that has been swept from its native virtual context into the world of mundane tangibility and deposited here on the shores of our reality.






Geoffrey, 2001, Dimensions Variable, Acrylic Paint, Fibreglass Figure, Laser
The key process of the Geoffrey artwork is a single-point ocular gridding of the installation space. An ideal perceptual checkerboard that is suggestive of networked and delineating technologies, as well as linear and ordered mental systems. In a sense, Geoffrey depicts a sensorium, an inner space or Cartesian theatre where mental processes are played out. In here, Geoffrey is both actor and audience, caught in the cycle of his own awareness. Geoffrey: information technologist, man-who-would-be-robot, logician. Under the perfect ordering principle Geoffrey is rendered monodimentional. Geoffrey was created in collaboration with Richie Kuhaupt.






Erasorhead, Maria, 1997, 90 x 90 cm, Oil and Auto Lacquer on Stainless Steel
Maria was the robot/girl heroine of the 1910 Fritz Lang film masterpiece "Metropolis".






Phasespace Tunneller, 1997
Phasespace is a mathematical abstraction - an infinite-dimensional space in which each point fully specifies the total spacetime of an alternate universe. Phasespace encompasses all possible universes - by extrapolation, phasespace hints at the potential embryonic in 'cyberspace'.