Neil Mendoza’s work combines sculpture, electronics, and software to bring inanimate objects and spaces to life. By combining found objects with technology in unexpected ways, the different elements of his work can be looked at from a new perspective. He explores themes of the absurd, the humorous, the futile, and the surreal.
Mechanical Masterpieces is a collection of paintings reimagined for the 21st century. Optimized for short attention spans, it allows viewers to poke, switch, disco, inflate and water paintings to their heart’s content. The installation was created for The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.
ROBOTIC VOICE ACTIVATED WORD KICKING MACHINE
The Robotic Voice Activated Word Kicking Machine is a surreal exploration of language and our strange relationship with talking to machines, from customer service bots to “intelligent assistants”. It combines projection and robotics to explore the crossover between the virtual and the physical. Viewers’ spoken words are converted into text and launched into the virtual world. They accumulate there, sometimes kicked by a robotic foot and sometimes sucked back out into the world as sound.
Disruptive Devices is a triptych of digital kinetic artworks that mediate viewer interactions with virtual wildlife. Our current economic system is set up to treat nature as an infinite resource, disturbing ecosystems in unsustainable ways, often using technology as a tool to amplify these disturbances. This piece invites viewers to contemplate this relationship through a surreal lens. Each of the three machines combines a physical hand mechanism controlled by the viewer via a crank wheel that interacts with a virtual natural environment.
THE ELECTRIC KNIFE ORCHESTRA
The Electric Knife Orchestra consists of sixteen knives and one meat cleaver (all purchased from the $0.99 store) that have been brought to life to perform the Bee Gees’ 1977 hit Stayin’ Alive. The orchestra consists of six musical machines and all of the sound is created through the operation of these machines.
“The Antivanity Mirror” is a robotic mirror that does not allow viewers to look at themselves, which is a perfect gift for the influencer in your life. This piece was created entirely from reclaimed materials during Medoza’s artist in residence at Recology SF.
This piece questions the role that all of the little gadgets we use from day to day play in our lives. Frequently, they are a form of escapism, used to avoid thinking and interacting by staring into the information space. Often they are being used as a tool to spy on us and gather data about our habits. For once, they are “consciously” staring back at us, moving and following viewers around.