Toronto based artist Iner Souster is no stranger to re-purposing random scrap metal and nuts, bolts and wires into creations of his own device. He’s been building functional instruments out of often donated boxes of junk for years. He’s since graduated onto building robots. His latest work is Robots In a Jar, currently on display at his gallery The Sixth. I had a chance to talk to Iner about his robotic propensities the other day.
What was your inspiration for making Robots In a Jar?
I’ve been working on robots for a long time. There are so many things in my basement, and I had to start organizing them. The things that I had a few of, I would put into a mason jar, and it sort of evolved from there. I was trying to find a way to show these robots, and I saw it, and I was like; that’s how I’m displaying them.
Have you always been a fan of robots? When did your love affair with them begin?
I’ve been making them for quite some time, building stuff since I was kid. My Dad was a tradesman, and he had lots of junk. I started building instruments out of junk, and I started getting a surplus of materials. So I started melding them together for fun. The first robot I made, I laughed the whole time I was making it, and I haven’t stopped since. Now when I see things, I see robots more than I see instruments. It’s kind of taken over the whole instruments thing. Now I want to find a way to make the robots play the instruments.
We’re now living in an age of drones, where war machines operated by unseen pilots can target people and kill them, Terminator style. Are you fearful of of the future in terms of robotic development?
All mine are robots made of love. Every last one of them.
So you’re an optimist when it comes to robots?
You mentioned that you’d like to have the robots play instruments; have you thought of any other ways to make them functional?
I’ve thought of it yeah, but really they’re more fauxbot than robot. It’s about the design of them, and constructing them out of garbage, that most people would just throw away.
Do you name your robots?
Yes, I have named alot of them, but the robots in a jar do not have names yet. Handsome Jim was the first robot I ever made.
Do you have a favourite?
No, I love them all equally.
You can view them all in person, along with many custom made amazing instruments if you are in Toronto at the Sixth Gallery. Check them out below. Robots In a Jar are also available for purchasing, and range from $50-1000+CDN. Contact Iner and visit his blog for more info. All photos by Colm Hogan/digitizedgraffiti.com
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