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First Friday roundup, 5.2.13

Gary Hirsch

Robot Army

The domino robots of Gary Hirsch can assist with all manner of needs, including love, joy and bravery. Last Tuesday, 50 bots were hidden around Las Vegas, from uptown to The Strip. Find and adopt a missing bot, and visit Trifecta Gallery to claim one out of Hirsch’s robot installation.

Hirsch: “’Seventy-two Brave Bots’ is a smaller version of ‘990 Brave Bots’ that I made for a children’s hospital in Portland, Ore., and it’s a homage to my younger self. Brave Bots are ‘programmed’ to help you be brave, and I wish I had them when I was growing up. During that time, I had a lot of nightmares — giant hands swooping down from the attic, grabbing you out of bed and swallowing you whole, where you would land in a stomach that was really a graveyard populated by zombies … On those nights when I couldn’t sleep, I would sit with my father in the kitchen and draw the monsters from my nightmares. This started me on the journey of making monsters, and I have been doing so ever since.

“The monsters I make today come in the form of tiny robots on the back of dominos. They are designed to help viewers have a conversation with themselves. I make bots that can give you advice, tell you how wonderful you are, help you be brave, etc. Of course the bots don’t actually talk, but still, people have told me things like, ‘My bot just encouraged me to take risk,’ or ‘I felt great today because my bot told me how helpful I am to my business partner.’ I had one woman contact me for a set of Brave Bots for her family, to help them cope with the recent death of a loved one. Are these people crazy? Of course not; they are just realizing something about themselves. The bots don’t actually talk, but something about them allows people to imagine that they do, and this can give voice to a few, small and hopefully wonderful insights about themselves.”

Trifecta Gallery, 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite 135,

Javier Sanchez and Yasmina Chavez


In case you were wondering, eristic is the art of disputation — basically, having a really good argument. Through a video installation juxtaposed with an installation of sound and light, artists Javier Sanchez and Yasmina Chavez attempt to engage the viewer in a conceptual quarrel, aimed at “investigating the concept of conflict.”

Sanchez: “It’s part of an argument, a conversation between one person and another. We didn’t want it to be subjective or objective. It is something that is in process. A piece of art is never finished and should always be questionable. The experimentation should lead you to something else. Eristic is a conflict that you’re arguing just for the sake of arguing about it; it never ends, never has a conclusion. You can argue in many ways about many things, you can have many ideas, and without any resolution. You make an art piece with a certain esthetic, but it’s never resolved; it’s a generator of ideas to make something else.”

Alios Gallery, 1217 S. Main St., 478-9636

Fred Mitchell

Photographs with Sculptural Tendencies

Scuffs, tire skids, the broken nose of an orange traffic cone — these remnants of crashes past, unnoticed by most, form the basis for artist Fred Mitchell’s forensic photographs, warped and torn upon metal.

Mitchell: “I begin by separating myself from the origin of the marks made upon this scene. My creative process starts through mentally trying to re-create the event. I consider directionality of impact and [the] process it took to create the damage. I contemplate these details as I reinterpret the scene in four stages: camera, darkroom, computer and print.

“’Four Feet of Separation’ contains two separate marks in a single site that were within four feet of each other, printed double-sided directly onto metal. … In the darkroom, I embraced flaws to add depth and texture to the images. It was digitally printed through a company that normally manufactures road signs, solidifying a connection with the content. I physically damaged key areas using metal-crafting methods to draw comparisons to the content, composition, light and other formal elements. Finally, it [was] anchored with a concrete ‘curb’ to support the piece, but more importantly, [to emphasize it] as a conceptual comparative object.”

Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway, 455-7030