Leon Van de Graaff
OK, Commuter
computers, lights, plastics, industrial components, other various materials
installation detail
© 2009

Decades ago, we were sold the idea of the paperless, portable, work-from-home office. We were seduced by advertising images of happy people using portable computers by the beach, in bed or at cafes; a holiday atmosphere for every working day and no need to waste time going into the city. What we got was more people travelling further and more often for work and the capacity to waste vast amounts of paper and other resources at the click of a button. For most people, portable information technology has become about making tedious travel time more productive or just merely distracting.

In OK Commuter three human-sized robots (with their phones, PDAs, handheld game platforms in hand) occupy Vitrine, now morphed into a train/tram carriage. Each robot is made from found objects and technologies from a specific era indicative of each robot’s fictional age. The public can direct the robot passengers to perform clichéd actions and monologues from commuter life via text messages chosen from a predetermined list on the Vitrine window.

Leon van de Graaff studied science at ACT TAFE and sculpture Canberra School of Art, ANU before fleeing to Brisbane where he exhibited extensively in artist run spaces and festivals. In 2005 and 2006 he was invited to exhibit mixed media sculpture with multimedia/interactive components in the QUT staff and student showcase exhibitions Journey and RE-active. He now lives in Richmond and works at the National Gallery of Victoria as a multimedia technician.