8520 S.W. 27th PL is an installation about the pointlessness of our never ending decision making process: choosing between left or right, brown shoes or black shoes, K-mart or Wal-mart. The exhibit features modified Dancing Hamster Toys, originally manufactured by the Gemmy Industries Corporation.
Eight doubled-headed robotic hamsters live in identical houses, all of which are narrow and transparent. Each robotic rodent has the ability to run about in its house, using sensors to monitor the activity outside it’s home (the gallery viewers). The data gathered from this observation helps the rodents decide which new direction to run in. Akin to our mental decision process, this sensor system permits external forces to influence each new movement the robot makes. The result is a kind of sensorial intelligence invested in the machinery’s decision algorithms.
The robot pauses on each new sensorial assessment; the pulsing small lights installed in its two heads making it appear to be contemplating its future action. They scurry about with apparent purpose, only to bump their heads on the extremes of their homes, which in the end are their cages.