In a semi-serious conversation with my wife one evening, we laughed about the idea of robots who become sentient and rather than start a tyrannical reign and try to wipe humanity from the face of the earth, begin to act like humans: taking up our stupid fads like planking, Tebowing, and of course, snapping a narcissistic selfie. I loved the idea of creating a robot, so I worked up a sketch in my ever-present Field Notes to nail down the concept:
“Self Aware” is created from a collection of recycled car and computer parts – only the sheet metal used to form the head is new. The fingers are built from two brands of timing chains, the monocle is an ellipsoid from a BMW headlight, the copper eye, shoulder and neck circuitry and veins in the arms all came from an old iMac used in another project.
Originally, he was going to be holding a mirror, but the thrift-store vintage analog camera completes the piece. I had originally found an old-school Polaroid for this purpose, but it proved to be too heavy and caused the piece to lean and become unstable. The brand name “Instamatic” is not only a nod to Instagram, but hilarious in its own right, as I’d venture that there was nothing “instant” about using that camera!