"'Inchworm,' 1998 -- computers, aluminum, software, electronics, motors, 6 feet, autonomously mobile." "'I Like To Watch,' 2000 -- steel, aluminum, wood, electronics, motors, 9 x 8 x 8 feet, operating envelope."
Looking over the descriptions of some of Alan Rath's "Robots" sculptures, it's hard to tell whether you're learning about art or reading excerpts from the diary of the creepiest mad scientist ever. Fortunately for both the viewer and Rath, it's the former. An MIT-educated engineer turned artist, Rath incorporates robotics along with electronics, video images and computer technologies in his creations in an attempt to probe the mechanics of human behavior and our relationship with technology. The resulting works are surprisingly lifelike sculptures that resemble birds and bug-eyed insects more than mutations of modern advancements.
Art and Robotics, a collection of Rath's mechanistic works, will be on display at the Hatton Gallery in the Visual Arts Building at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, through April 29; an opening reception will be held today from noon to 1 p.m. For information, call 1-970-491-6774 or log on to www.colostate.edu/Depts/Art. -- Adam Cayton-Holland
Good Times Roll
Local melody fakers are planning to shake it up tonight at Candy-O: A Tribute to the Cars, which features members of bona fide bands the Risk, the Affairs and the Symptoms impersonating Ric Ocasek and company. "We're not trying to duplicate the band," says coordinator/hi-dive owner Matt LaBarge. "We're trying to get the feel of the songs, instead."
The moving-in-stereo mimicking is the first in a new series of copycat concerts to be presented by LaBarge and his Superstar Lounge at the hi-dive. Future shout-outs could go to the Clash, Cheap Trick and even Prince.
The Hot House, Weather Machines and DJ Alice from the Maybellines will kick-start Candy-O at 9 p.m. at the hi-dive, 7 South Broadway. For a good time, Bostonian boy-band or new-wave attire is strongly recommended. Call 720-570-4500 or visit www.hi-dive.com. -- Kity Ironton
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Object Conversations explores a museum's bounty.
People can interpret the meaning of a beetle in more ways than one. And Object Conversations, a new exhibit at the University of Colorado's Museum of Natural History, aims to explore how objects can trigger a variety of responses depending upon the viewer. Curators have selected 25 objects -- including a Mexican beetle -- from more than 4 million in the Boulder institute's collection. At a panel discussion beginning at 7 p.m. tonight, five artists will share their thoughts on how the characteristics of various artifacts can be construed. As the museum's Judy Koke notes, the beetle on display can be used as jewelry or it can be the subject of a scientific study or the spark for an artist's creation. It all depends on perspective.
The free exhibit continues through February 2006 in the museum's dinosaur hall, 15th Street and Broadway. For more information, visit www.cumuseum.colorado.edu or call 303-492-6892. -- Jerri Theil