Michael Hurtado’s proposal takes its name from the title of a poem written by Kilku Warak’a, which in the Quechua language means “Will you forget me?” This is the springboard for Hurtado’s plan to explore how the rural residents of the high Andes are systematically overlooked or “forgotten” and consider tactical strategies for improving their current conditions, specifically those related to health. Hurtado intends to design and build an automaton inspired by the cuy, a rodent native to these regions which, in addition to being associated with key aspects of the Andean cosmovision, is still used today in traditional medicine to cure and diagnose ailments. Qonqawankimanchu will therefore be a robot made to resemble a cuy, capable of autonomously making contact with the rural population in order to detect any diseases they may have and, in the long run, help improve their quality of life. The lack of basic healthcare services in these remote locations is the primary concern that this project aims to address, and the artist hopes that technology will turn out to be an empowering resource for these people.
About the author
Michael Hurtado is a Peruvian artist and developer who graduated with a degree in mathematics from the National University of Engineering (UNI), Lima, in 2013. In 2014 he enrolled at the Fab Academy and created a project based on rapid prototyping with students in MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program, while also pursuing a career as a multimedia artist involved in contemporary dance productions and experimental music projects. He exhibited an interactive art project at Galleri Mejan in Stockholm, Sweden, and an interactive installation at the International Book Fair of Lima. Hurtado is currently a professor of Art & Technology and Robotics and a project instructor at the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) and director of the company Lima Makers, where he develops hardware and software projects.