Max Dean, As Yet Untitled, 1992-95: Puma 550 industrial robot, found family snap shots, conveyor, shredder, metal, electronics; installation: 60” x 144” x 120”; edition of 3; collection: Art Gallery of Ontario
In Max Dean’s project As Yet Untitled, 1992-95, the viewer has the opportunity to determine the fate of found family photographs. The robot is programmed to pick up a photo from the hopper on the right, present it to the viewer, wait several seconds for a response before proceeding. Should the viewer choose to intervene by covering one or both of the hand silhouettes in front of them, the robot will place the photo in an archival box. Should the viewer choose not to act, the robot will place the photo in a shredder and the shredded photo will be conveyed to a pile. The robot runs continuously.
Read the notes on rebooting Dean’s robot for Le Mois de la Photo à Montreal, running Sept. 5 to Oct. 5, 2013.
Watch an interview with the artist about the restoration of the work on the AGO website:
Max Dean was born in 1949 in Leeds, UK. This Toronto-based artist has been producing works of significance, which have been exhibited around the world, for over 35 years. His photographs, performances, sculptures and installations explore the complex relationship between the artist, the spectator and the work. His interactive kinetic installations explore the nature of trust and control. Dean is the recipient of a project grant from the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts, the Gershorn Isowitz Award and the Chalmers Award. He is represented by the Nicholas Metivier Gallery in Toronto.