Art and Engineering Construct a Self-Destructive Chair

The Robotic Chair

A robotic chair designed to collapse and completely rebuild itself will give a free and public performance at the gallery of the Yale School of Art, 1156 Chapel Street, on January 23 at 5 p.m.

Supported by the Tetelman Fellowship, the demonstration of the Robotic Chair’s singular talent is co-sponsored by the Yale School of Art and the Yale Faculty of Engineering.

The Robotic Chair is the creation of three artists: Max Dean, Matt Donovan and Raffaello D’Andrea. Dean and D’Andrea will be present as the chair breaks apart and literally pulls itself together, and the artists will describe their motivation in creating this unique object and discuss what they consider its significance.

On January 24, The Robotic Chair will be on display at the Yale School of Art, Room 126, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Dean is a visual artist who has been producing and exhibiting for over 35 years. He is primarily known for his interactive kinetic installations that explore the nature of trust and control. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Exhibition highlights include the “dAPERTutto” at the Venice Biennale in 1999; “Platea dell’umanita” at the Venice Biennale in 2001; “Voici, 100 years of contemporary art,” Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels; “The Fifth Element,” Kunsthalle Dusseldorf; “Iconoclash” and ‘Future Cinema’ at ZKM, Karlsruhe.

D’Andrea is a recognized expert in the development, application and commercialization of state-of-the-art algorithms and technology for designing and controlling complex autonomous systems. He is a full professor at ETH Zurich and the system architect and a founding member of Kiva Systems. He is also an accomplished contemporary artist, with exhibitions at various international venues, including the Venice Biennale, the Luminato Festival, the Spoleto Festival and ARS Electronica.

Donovan is an artist, industrial designer, and conservator of kinetic artworks. Highlights include a series of works with Hallie Siegel titled “History Machines”; the mechanical design of Max Dean’s and Raffaello D’Andrea’s “The Table”; the architectural design and management of Ydessa Hendeles’ “Teddy Bear Project”; and the restoration of a large kinetic work by Paul McCarthy. He has exhibited at ARS Electronica, ARCO art fair, Luminato Festival and the Olga Korper Gallery.

The Tetelman Fellowship at Yale was endowed in 1979 by Damon Wells of the Class of 1958 in memory of his friend and classmate Alan S. Tetelman, who died in an air crash over the San Diego airport in 1978. Mr. Tetelman, a metallurgist, was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Materials at the University of California at Los Angeles.



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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345