An artist and a professor makes a mirror out of penguins


Daniel Rozin, an artist and a NYU professor who uses mirror as the main theme in his work, has recently presented a new exhibition starring robotic penguins.


The installation “Penguins mirror” is on display at New York’s bitforms gallery until July 1, featuring 450 penguin plush robots scattered on the floor that move and rotate in a harmonized choreography  to mirror visitor’s posture.


While art usually displays its content, Rozin highlights that he enjoys  delivering content in the form of visitor’s perception and interaction.


The robotic penguin toys are black on one side and white on the other. Each toy is attached to the base that allows the penguin to rotate. A video camera brings a visual information to a central processing unit, which makes penguins turn in real-time, mirroring the visitor’s outline in black and white.


Rozin explains why he decided to use a penguin as a mirror: “Penguins are black and white, making them an inevitable pixel candidate. They huddle in groups. They are birds that don’t fly but they swim very gracefully, in the Penguins Mirror I programmed some transformation animations that resemble flocking of birds and schooling of fish. Perhaps these penguins are dreaming of flying.”


The exhibit is a part of a mirror installation “Descent with Modification” that features six  “mirrors”, inspired by Charles Darwin’s writing on evolutionary biology.