Dr Matthew Gardiner is an artist most well known for his work with origami and robotics. He coined the term Oribot 折りボト in 2003, and since works in the field of art/science research called Oribotics: a field of research that thrives on the aesthetic, biomechanic, and morphological connections between nature, origami and robotics.


This site contains a collection of selected works, video documentation, photographs and research. Some items can be purchased directly, however, if you have interest to exhibit, commission or purchase an artwork, please contact Matthew.


  The Folded Geometry of the Universe

For The Folded Geometry of the Universe* my inspiration came from examining the scale of folds in nature as criteria to understand folds. We theorise that folds exist at all scales of nature, from the nanoscale of folds in strings of DNA, pleats in paper at the origami scale, craggy mountains and valleys folds formed by the awesome crushing power of tectonic plates, and much much larger it is theorised, that the shape of the universe is folded, that gravity and dark matter fold the shape and fabric of the universe.

The Folded Geometry of the Universe

  Light is Time Folds are Space

Light is Time Folds are Space is a large scale installation of hundreds of folded forms with an algorithmic variance and lit with a lighting sequence intended to simulate the passage of the sun over the course of day.

Light is Time Folds are Space

  Oribotics [Tokyo Design Touch]

Oribotics at Tokyo Design Touch was the Japanese premiere of oribotics. Shortly after arriving the title shifted from oribotic オリボチク to oribo オリボ or even better to include the kanji for fold 折りボ(like aibo or asimo) a very cute name with a rounder sound.

Oribotics [Tokyo Design Touch]

  Oribotics A brief history

Learn about the origins and history of Oribotics, dating from 2004, including a list of exhibitions and world premiers of Oribotics.

Oribotics A brief history

  Oribotics [Laboratory]

Oribotics [laboratory] was a collaboration between Matthew Gardiner and Aphids, especially Artistic Director David Young as Composer, and was shown over two nights at the Asialink centre at Melbourne University in 2005.

Oribotics [Laboratory]

  ORI*

Origami and Robotics led to the discovery of the field of Oribotics, and from this convergent field, significant questions relating nature, technology and folding emerge. A collaboration with Ars Electronica Futurelab.

ORI*

  BalletLab Origami

A collaboration with Balletlab's director Phillip Adams.

BalletLab Origami

  ZigZag

Trouble on Planet Earth, by The Border Project won the Ruby Award for Innovation and Best Show at the 2008 Adelaide Fringe.

ZigZag

  Radiobots

RadioBots is an artwork by Matthew Gardiner, in collaboration with Etheira Technologies, Aphids and Speak Percussion "meticulously constructed objects... the sonic force reverberates around the rooms and halls to sybiotic effect - what seems like an infestation of the alien quickly becomes a polyvocal chorus of the environment... an agent of purest bedlam."RealTime]

Radiobots

  Oribotics [.de]

Oribotics [.de] 2008 Exhibited at the Künstlerdorf Schöppingen May 2009 for the 20 year Jubillee.

Oribotics [.de]

  Residencies

Matthew Gardiner has had the good fortune to have been selected for a number of artistic residencies, and they are the most rewarding, productive and creative times, period.

Residencies

  On Oribotics

Oribotics is a field of study concerned with origami and robotics, and more broadly with folding and technology. Watch video interviews/documentaries featuring Matthew Gardiner on the topic of his Oribotics.

On Oribotics

  Synthetic Memetic

Rick Rolling combined with the present-day terror of police DNA tagging technologies form the basis of this social commentary on Synthetic Biology, genetics, memetics, and the mechanisms of control.

Synthetic Memetic

  Oribotics [origin]

Oribotics [origin] premiered at the Next Wave Festival, May 18-30th 2004 at TCB Gallery. It was the first exhibition by Matthew Gardiner of his new field of research: Oribotics.

Oribotics [origin]

  Oribotics [Network]

Oribotics [network] was a unique art and technology installation in the Atrium at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia, drawing on cutting edge research in biology, computing, and scientific origami. Visitors discoverer living biomimetic works attached to the glass panes of the Atrium’s Fracture Galleries.

Oribotics [Network]

  Giant Origami

Collaborations with Matthew Gardiner, the Melbourne Origami Group, architects, choreographers and designers on many large scale origami projects. By far the largest was Origami House, a full size house folded from paper.

Giant Origami

  oriiro

IRO-ORI (Japanese) means colour-fold (farbenfalt in German), and is the title of a news series of paintings by Matthew Gardiner.

oriiro

  Oribotics [futurelab]

Oribotics [futurelab] is Matthew Gardiner's current artist project as the direct result of an artistic residency at the Ars Electronica Futurelab in 2010. Oribotics [futurelab] will premiere at the 2010 Ars Electronica Festival.

Oribotics [futurelab]

  Everything Origami

Everything Origami is the ultimate guide to origami for beginners and experienced hobbyists alike. Containing step-by-step instructions on how to...


Everything Origami

  Designer Origami

Designer Origami is the ultimate guide to the stylish, creative and innovative world of origami design. More than just folded paper, origami...


Designer Origami

  ORI* Volume 1

ORI* The Art and Science of Origami and Technology Works 2015–2017. Volume 1. ISBN: 978-0-6484076-0-7...


ORI* Volume 1

  ORI*Universe Pendant

Hang an ORI*Universe around your neck to remind you of how amazing your place is in its folds. At the core of my artistic practice, I attempt to...


ORI*Universe Pendant

Matthew Gardiner

Dr Matthew Gardiner, Australian Artist and Researcher

Matthew Gardiner is an artist most well known for his work with origami and robotics. He coined the term Oribot 折りボト and then created the field of art/science research called Oribotics. Oribotics is a field of research that thrives on the aesthetic, biomechanic, and morphological connections between nature, origami and robotics.

Matthew Gardiner is currently an artist and senior lead researcher at the Ars Electronica Futurelab, in Linz Austria. As an artist Gardiner is known for his works concerned with origami and robotics: Oribotics. The work arises from the consideration of folded forms, their kinetic properties and electromechanical methods of actuation, sensing, interactions and luminous display. In 2003 Gardiner coined the terms Oribot and Oribotics, to define the emergent field of folding, robotics and technology, and has produced the following works with premieres: Oribotics 2004 at Next Wave Festival, Oribotics [laboratory] 2005 at Asialink Center, Oribotics [network] 2007 at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Oribotics [de] 2008 at Künstlerdorf Schöppingen, Oribotics [house of dreaming] 2009 for Arena Theatre Company, Oribotics [the future unfolds] 2010 for Ars Electronica Festival and Tokyo Design Touch.

Gardiner's other works include Origami House 2003: one square kilometer of paper folded into a full size house with the Melbourne Origami Group, 1001 Cranes: 7000 paper cranes installed in the shape of a three story high Gingko bonsai, and Radiobots a radio based percussive instrument for performance on architecture. From 2005-2006 he starred as a television presenter on ABC Sunday Arts teaching the art of origami. He is author of Everything Origami, a best selling general origami book and collaboration with Australia's leading origami artists. He is publisher and editor of Folding Australia 2005, and Folding Australia 2007.

Gardiner curated a major exhibition Project Genesis on the topic of Synthetic Biology for the Ars Electronica Centre. He was awarded a three year PEEK grant from the Austrian Science Fund FWF for his research into the topic of ORI* on the aesthetics and language of folding and technology. Gardiner was awarded his PhD by the University of Newcastle, Australia for his thesis titled ORI*.

Gardiner has been the recipient of grants, awards from the Australia Council for the Arts, The City of Port Phillip Rupert Bunny Fellowship, Arts Victoria (Arts Innovation Board), Australian Network for Art and Technology, Victorian College of the arts. He has been a resident artist at the Ars Electronica Futurelab, Künstlerdorf Schöppingen, Australia Council Studio in Takadanobaba Tokyo, PICA, Federation Square, Origami House Tokyo, and the Digital Artist@Latrobe Regional Gallery.

A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, Fine Art Photography, and mentored by artists Patricia Piccinini and Peter Hennessey at Drome in Melbourne. Gardiner began folding paper at the age of eight, and around the same time he was given an Apple IIe by his father to learn how to code.

Research by Dr Matthew Gardiner

Dr Matthew Gardiner is a world leading researcher on the topic of the Art and Science of Origami and Technology. Since 2010, Gardiner's genre defining work has been situated within the research laboratory of the Ars Electronica Futurelab. One of the more interesting roles of an artistic researcher in a media-lab is to constantly question and to redefine the use of media. His series of Oribotic artworks do just that, by questioning the role of the fold, Gardiner interrogates all folded media, natural, artificial and technological.



In 2019, Gardiner's doctoral thesis titled ORI* on the Aesthetics of Folding and Technology, asks How can artistic processes transcend the medium of paper, through parametric computational origami and digital fabrication of oribotic artworks using the natural language of folding?.

This led to the development of several new methods that enable the design and fabrication of complex origami geometries with kinetic functions. This work was further informed by an FWF PEEK grant to investigate the broader role of technology and folding in art, architecture and design.

The key question underpining recent works stems from the fundamental question "what is a fold" and draws inspiration from nature, philosophy, natural folding patterns, geometry, mathematics, robotics, soft-robotics and new reserach in digital fabrication. Research outputs range from traditional peer-reviewed papers and publications to artistic exhibits, self-publications, video documents and exponata.

Gardiner's published works can be found on researchgate.com, a number of key works linked from this page.