Heidi Kumao

Protest

“Protest” is from the project, “Misbehaving: Media Machines Act Out”(2002-2007), a series of mechanical girls’ legs, each with their own prescribed and programmed behavior. In each tableau, an electronically controlled, mechanical being protests with a voice of erratic physical gestures and projected video imagery. As a combination of robotics and performance, they represent girls who disobey or resist expectations. Unlike machines designed for perfect job performance, these machines will declare their fallibility, impatience, approval, and disapproval through small gestural acts. In these tableaus of protest and transformation, the machine is spirited, emotional, thoughtful, and irregular. “Protest” consists of aluminum, mechanized pairs of 6 year-old girl’s legs fitted with shoes and standing on a table top. An electronic circuit and proximity sensors make her responsive to the presence of viewers for whom she stomps loudly and erratically