Totemobile is a robotic sculpture that initially appears as a life-sized representation of the culturally iconic Citroën DS automobile. In performance, this familiar figure is visually exploded, subverted and elaborated through various levels of abstraction until it reaches its final form: an organic 60-foot-tall totem pole. Upon reaching its full height, the work blooms with light, in the form of multiple organically-inspired inflatable sculptures suggesting the final maturation of an enormous biological organism.
The initial form of the robotic sculpture is surprisingly simple, and belies the existence of nearly 50 interdependent machines of varying aesthetic and functional purpose. As the sculpture opens and rises, these metal and inflatable machines give voice to varying modes of mobile abstraction, which develop throughout the growth and final "blooming" of the full, 60-foot tall work. In the collision, negotiation and compromises reached between the organic and the inorganic aspects of itself, narratives suggesting entropy, domination, transformation, mortality and the nature of strength are exposed.