Dr Matthew Gardiner, Australian Artist and Researcher
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 and then created Oribotics, a field of art/science research that thrives on the aesthetic, biomechanic, and morphological connections between nature, origami and robotics. Gardiner holds a position as artist and key researcher at the Ars Electronica Futurelab, in Linz Austria, where the philosophy of art, society and technology intersect.
As an artist Gardiner works 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.
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.