Sarah Petkus (US)

Sarah Petkus

Among Aoife Van Linden Tol the jury of the 2016 art&science@ESA Open Call also identified another promising and inventive project: The Wandering Artist, submitted by American kinetic artist and roboticist Sarah Petkus.

In her proposal, Sarah pondered on the possibilities of a probe that would explore another planet in the Solar System and take decisions based on creative and artistic grounds, rather than purely scientific reasoning.

“The premise of Sarah’s project is intriguing: it starts off from a seemingly standard situation in space science – a robot exploring a world other than our own – but then, as an artist, it asks what could be done differently,” adds Gerfried Stocker, artistic director of Ars Electronica.

The jury awarded Sarah an honourary mention and invited her to spend time with ESA’s planetary scientists and robotic experts in Noordwijk, and later with the Futurelab team at Ars Electronica.

Sarah Petkus is a kinetic artist and roboticist from Las Vegas, USA. Her area of focus is in developing mechanical systems that exhibit the behavioral nuances of living things. She is currently working in collaboration with electronic engineer, Mark Koch, as an artist group and business entity known as Robot Army. The group focuses on the creation of reactive kinetic sculptures and light installations that operate as mechanical extensions of the human body and emotional state. Sarah has a background in traditional art mediums such as painting and printmaking, and exercises her interest in these areas by writing and illustrating sequential art, as well as promoting her identity with graphic design in the form of pop imagery and propaganda. In addition to her work as a hybrid artist, Sarah documents the process and progress of her projects by producing video content and commentary for her web channel, GravityRoad.

Read more about Sarah Petkus in an interview on the Ars Electronica Blog!