I get pretty abnormally gleeful when artists send me pictures of their studio, and I was definitely quite happy when Robert Hoggard decided to oblige me!
His contributions to the show with Joe Scarano and Tim Lee, Deadeyes, at Stranger Factory in March, promises to be a delightful amalgamation of enthusiastically interactive robots. We first saw Robert’s work at Stranger Factory for Bewitching last year, where his Theremin Bot charmed the hell out of everyone present.
Robert agreed to ask some short questions, so here they are, interspersed with awesome pictures of his workspace. :)
Circus Posterus: Where does the inspiration for your robots come from?
Robert Hoggard: It actually varies. Sometimes, it’s an item I find that begs to be made into something. Take the pulse bot from the Bewitching show, I found a silkworm specimen encased in acrylic and knew it had to be in the chest of a robot. Or, I can find inspiration in a specific antique case or box that I come across. Many things I do come to me when I’m trying to go to sleep and I think, “I wonder if I can make _____ and get it to work?”
CP: What sort of wonderful found things go into the making of a robot?
RH: Well, my theremin bot was inspired by the “Halloween” theme of the show and the case I found for it. It was a vintage traveling preacher’s case. It just seemed like whatever I put in that case needed to be heard.
CP: What are your three favorite tools – the ones that you’ve come to rely on so much you feel like you wouldn’t be able to make anything if it didn’t exist in your shop?
RH: Soldering iron, Dremel tool, and magic sculpt!
CP: What’s your background? How were you first drawn to electronic fiddliness?
RH: I spent many years in the computer industry. In my spare time I worked on building elaborate Halloween display items for my house. With the help of my friends and family, we would completely decorate the house and yard after dark on October 30th with sophisticated electronic and mechanical displays.
CP: Your Theremin-Bot was a highlight of the Bewitching show! Can we expect more wonderful interactive robots from you in March?
RH: Most definitely! There will be some with motion-activated lights, one that you connect to with a mobile device, and one in the works with a video screen.
Deadeyes, by Robert Hoggard, Tim Lee and Joe Scarano, runs March 7th – 30th, with an opening reception on Friday, March 7th from 6 – 9 PM.