Opened in 2021, the Department of Low Tech Technologies and Organic matter is led by Paul Granjon, former head of Robotics at the Institute.
Unnecessary research focuses on relevance of mud and sticks in contemporary media art, microbial power for slowbots, hack and chat groups, qualitative investigations in AI versus Hi (human intelligence), audio kinetic artefacts for environmental protest, plant studies, outdoor experiments and more.
We aim for anything produced at the Department to be made of at least 90% used material and powered by sustainable energy.
Paul Granjon is interested in the co-evolution of humans and machines, imagining solutions for alternative futures and sharing his experience of creative technologies. He has been making robots and other machines for exhibitions and performances since 1996.
Granjon’s work became known for a trademark combination of humour and serious questions, delivered with absurd machines that made use of recycled components. His Sexed Robots were exhibited in the Welsh Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2005.
He performs and exhibits internationally, latest commissions in Garage Museum Moscow, Azkuna Zentroa Bilbao and Campfa Cardiff. He regularly delivers Wrekshops, public events where participants are invited to take apart electronic waste and build temporary new machines from the bits they find. Granjon’s current work is driven by an ecologist and participatory agenda. He teaches Fine-Art in Cardiff School of Art and Design, UK.