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Review: Foosbots at Harrison Center

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A robotic Nick Selm looks over William Denton Ray's "Planetary Devices," part of Foosbots.
  • A robotic Nick Selm looks over William Denton Ray's "Planetary Devices," part of Foosbots.


Believe it or not, I found a robot, played by artist and sometime NUVO contributor Nick Selm, scoping out this show on opening night, admiring the robot-themed art by some of Indy’s best artists. Robo-Selm was particularly drawn to Patrick Flaherty’s woodcut relief “Contacts”, which portrays a super smartphone with all sorts of super-duper app icons - icons that, of course, don’t necessarily draw us any closer to the people or “contacts” that we love There’s something iconic (and ironic) about how Flaherty uses an old fashioned printmaking technique to highlight the iconic technological obsession of the moment.

During the few moments when we’re not engaged with our iPhones, contemporary life often requires us to put on certain masks. MaryAnne Nguyen’s painting “Empathy Machine” shows a robot with three different human faces—actually the same human face with three different expressions—radiating more empathetic concern than most humans can handle.

As good as all these pieces were, they were only openers to the main event: Carl Leck’s “Foosbots.” A prototype of this foosball table meets Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots was on display at Primary Colours2010 Toys show. This new, improved version was not only on display, but available for gallery-goers to pit themselves against one-another, and show off their boxing chops. Foosbots will be coming soon, if all goes well, to multiple sports bars near you!Through Sept. 28 at The Underground at the Harrison Center for the Arts

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