The Bots are small (on rare occasions, big) totemic, art objects programmed to help. They are created by Gary Hirsch, an artist and * consultant living in Portland Oregon. As a kid Gary had a lot of nightmares, his father asked him to draw the monsters in his dreams…he has been doing it ever since!
Each Bot comes with its own operating instructions:
*The original domino robots were imagined and commissioned by On Your Feet, a consultancy that collides improv and business, and that Gary helped to start in Nov. of 1994.
You can read more about the inspiration and motivation for the Bots here in the article that Sharpie did on my work.
My goal is to get as many Bots out into the world so they can meet as many humans as possible. I am always looking for stories about how you interact with them, where you take them, how they effect you and others. Add your thoughts to the Bot Blog.
These are the types of Bots I currently make:
- Joy Bots (make you feel instantly better)
- Love Bots (tell you how much they love you all day long)
- Brave Bots (encourage you to take more risks)
- Listening Bots (don’t say much, just listen)
- Blame Bots (take the blame so you don’t have to)
- Advice Bots (give you ridiculously useful advice)
- Cloning Bots (Make more of you so you can get more done)
- Time Bots (stop time so you can have an instant re-do)
- Yes Bots (agree with everything you say)
- Caffeine Bots (wake you up)
- Cooking Bots (Make everything you cook wonderful)
- Zen Bots (clam you down and help you be chill)
- Lulla-Bots (help you sleep and dream)
- Installations (Wall Displays and Gallery Installations)
- Bot Bundles (Multiple Bots all wrapped up together)
HOW THE BOTS GET MADE
Many have asked…so here’s how the process works, from blank domino-to-final Bot (p.s.read this, then steal all of the ideas and make your Bots!):
The idea for the Bots came from a sketch I did in 2000 as a prompt in an On Your Feet journal (On Your Feet is a creative consultancy that I helped start in 1996 that uses improv theater to help businesses).
Instead of having the robots be something that you visualize we thought it would be cool to make them so you could carry them around in your pocket. so I made a test batch of 400 while on a family trip to Mexico and we gave Bots to clients and friends as our corporate gift in 2010.
The Bots were wildly popular with our clients and I LOVED making them. In my “real” work I am up on my feet, moving, facilitating, acting, improvising. When I am making Bots I am quiet, still, listening, focused and improvising. It’s a ying/yang thing. Bot making has become a vital part of my day-to-day action
When I make the Bots I start out with a pristine, blank domino, add color (one color at a time), then white and then the final black outline.
When I paint, I listen to books on tape (recent titles include Game of Thrones first 5 books, Bossy Pants, IQ84, a lot of great and sort of good Sci-Fi) This American Life and Radio Lab.
I have no memory of any of the Bots that I paint.
I don’t plan what I paint. So when I see them on display after they are finished I always have a brief moment were I wonder “who made those?”…then I remember that I did.
It takes me about 2 days (working a bit and goofing off a bit) to finish 100 Bots. Here is how they progress: from the blank domino to the final clear coat so they don’t rub off in your pocket. I used a combination of oil paint pen and other metalic pens, and then I just loose myself and doodle:
Clear coat gets applied at the end, and then I try to scan or photograph every Bot for my records. Sometimes I get a little help…(or not)…
(note to self… always end a post with cute dogs, or babies)