Describing his subject as ’the co-evolution of humans and machines’, the artist builds his practice around the relationship between people and technology, creating robotics, automata, crazy costumes and musical instruments that delight, amuse and fascinate - and occasionally alarm.
In Oriel Factory, Granjon , presents a radical new take on production lines. Using yesterday’s electronic kit – defunct computers, CD / DVD players, radios and speakers – as the raw material, Granjon has commandeered an army of volunteers – the ‘Oriel Factory workers’ – to help him break apart these mountains of ‘dead tech’. These are then redesigned and re-constructed as programmed artefacts for the gallery, with the help of futuristic tools such as a 3D printer (which reads computer-generated drawings and renders them as solid objects in space).
The Gallery is transformed into a busy hive of industry, where disembowelled computers and printers are reborn as the robotic prototypes of tomorrow. In the midst of this feverish activity a family of robots roams the galleries: a big mamma robot with her babies trundle backwards and forwards, stopping only when their energy reserves run down. Their power supply is a ‘forest’ of battery feeding stations connected to renewable energy sources – solar panels on the Gallery’s roof and old bicycles recycled as human-powered dynamos.
Oriel Factory is an experience – a dynamic environment that is part workshop, part ideas hothouse, part experiment lab. It forces awareness of the vast quantities of electronic waste produced by our early 21st century consumer society, and highlights the need for renewable energy. The exhibition also gently pokes fun at our fascination with, and endless appetite for new technology and the need to own the latest smart phone or the newest sat nav.
Paul Granjon also presents a series of new drawings as part of Oriel Factory. A documentary film by Chris Keenan about the making of Oriel Factory shows within the exhibition.
10 September – 16 November 2011