Garth Zeglin

other projects

Fledgling hanging in the air

Fledgling is a little creature floating in the air shrouded in shimmering silk fabric, moving up and down in response to its environment. It comprises a small autonomous mechanism shrouded in a fabric enclosure, suspended from a loop of string, counterweighted for smooth, quiet motion. Fledgling contains several sensors intended to detect nearby humans, and exhibits an ambient behavior in which it explores its one-dimensional environment, singing songs, observing the vicinity with sensors, and avoiding humans it detects.

As a technologist, I am troubled by the human need to anthropomorphize our machines; it carries overtones of an animistic relation to the world, not one based on a clarity of mind and perception. However, as an artist I know full well the comfort of relating to our artifacts in terms of sentience and autonomy. Fledgling is an attempt to explore this duality by creating autonomous behavior in a simple artificial creature designed solely to provide an ambient presence as it moves through its one-dimensional world.

Fledgling was shown as part of Mechanosphere in 2007 at the Three Rivers Arts Festival Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA.