The Story of "The Bipolar Brain" Automata.
Last fall I had completed the "Inner Demon" automata for a client. While working on it I began to think of other psychological twists for another project. As I ran through my own "walnut sized" brain a bipolar brain came to mind. Two polar bears seemed a natural whimsical opportunity if I could figure out how to integrate them into the piece. A little more time and the concept appeared.
People who suffer from a bipolar disorder exhibit maniac or depressed behaviours, so my two polar bears would play these roles! Manic, actively operates joy sticks and foot pedals with a sugary fountain drink at his side while. The depressed bear, Misery, has tapped out, reclined with his arm over his eyes. Tim Hortons coffee is his beverage.
The biggest challenge of this piece is opening and closing the large sections of the head. The range of motion and the weight dictated a larger sized mechanism that usual. Next the mechanisms for the pedals an joysticks are relatively small and hidden inside the lounge chairs, floor and hands and feet. The eyes actually mimic the motion of the joysticks and pedals but it sort of gets lost in the final product. The LCD screens are the bears portal to the outside world as the navigate the man around in the world.
Of course the inside of the brain had to be grey. Although not necessarily anatomically correct, often we refer to our brains as grey matter.
Automata - "The Bipolar Brain" Video
The "Bipolar Brain" Photo Gallery
Varoius photo from along the way!