For over two decades, Louis Phillipe Demers has pursued the development of robotic artworks. In his recent project Tiller Girls, Demers makes a number of novel developments in the historical trajectory of such work. The mode of movement of these devices is eccentric with respect to conventional robots. Eschewing wheels, these devices teeter on four fixed points. Such exploration of novel modes of locomotion recall the ‘leg-lab’ experiments of Marc Raibert. This teetering is achieved via the swinging of counterweights in opposing planes (itself reminiscent of some 90’s Japanese robotics research). The second way in which this project is unusual is in the attempt at synchronization amongst robot groups. This is a departure from the fashion of the last decade of multiple robot ‘swarms’ which depend on bottom-up paradigms for cumulative group behavior. This behavior explains the title Tiller Girls. In the 1900’s, John Tiller defined a notion of ‘precision dance’ and formed a dance troupe, the Tiller Girls who performed at the Folies Bergere, the London Palladium and the Zeigfield Follies in New York.
About the author
Louis-Philippe Demers makes large-scale interactive installations, so far realizing more than 300 machines and participating in more than 70 stage productions. His works have been featured at major venues such as Lille 2004, Expo 1992 and 2000, Sonambiente, ISEA, SIGGRAPH and Sonar. He received three mentions at Ars Electronica, the Distinction of Prix 96, the first prize of Vida 2.0, the prize for Lightforms 98 and six prizes for Devolution in 2006.He was Professor at the HfG/ZKM then he joined the Interaction and Entertainment Research Centre at NTU.