Chico MacMurtrie / Amorphic Robot Works


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Chrysalis as shown in the the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tuscon, Arizona in 2013.
Photo: ARW

Chrysalis tube network contracting.
Photo: ARW

Chrysalis tube network expanding.
Photo: ARW

Chrysalis: Narrative

Chrysalis, is a live interactive environment and the most recent of a series of Inflatable Architectures by Chico MacMurtrie / Amorphic Robot Works.

Chrysalis is composed of 100 interconnecting high tensile fabric tubes that form, when fully inflated, a 12 Meter long, 8 meter wide and 5 Meter high architectural space, evocative of crystal formations. The tubes are networked into 16 live sections and animated by compressed air via a servo controlled computer system. As the air is released out of the fabric, Chrysalis gently collapses into an organic shape. Inspired by the architecture of the human body on a molecular level, Chrysalis provides a direct, visceral experience of the minute geometric constructions that underlie all of life.

Chrysalis resonates with audience on different levels. As a visitor is approaching, Chrysalis responds by opening one or a combination of several sections or by creating a portal that invites him or her inside. Chrysalis functions also as a temporary architecture that performs independently from audience interaction by drawing from previously recorded software sequences. These sequences regulate the amount of air flowing in and out of the fabric tubes and creating a muscle and bone dynamic capable of expanding and retracting, lifting and lowering, as well as collapsing movements.

In its transition from an organic to a geometric state, Chrysalis can be ultimately appreciated from inside of the sculpture. The magnitude of the sculpture in relation to the size of the human body engages the audience in a transformative experience as they face and interact with their own biology on an inverted scale. Chrysalis' with its ever-changing geometry is a manifestation of the hidden organic life that inspires and informs all Man made systems.