Momoyo Torimitsu’s Salary Soldiers


jiroWhen Japanese artist Momoyo Torimitsu takes her life-size, crawling robot businessman, Miyata Jiro, for a stroll through any of the world’s crowded urban financial districts, as she first did on the streets of New York in 1996, she wears a crisp white nurse’s uniform. She is prepared to tend to his robotic parts and battery, which are encased in his ass. (Really, I love it so much I can hardly stand it.) Jiro is just one of a small army of robotic salarymen created by Torimitsu over the years that satirically criticizes the “competitive psychology” of corporate culture, and, as Steve Dixon explains, “encapsulates both the humanization of machines and the machinization of humans.” Video and more after the jump.

In her installation “Horizons,” 100 Barbie-sized, robotic businessmen crawl on their elbows like soldiers across a green turf map of the world. For “Inside Track,” she pits three life-size robot businessmen—Asian, American and European—in a race through an office “like corporation ‘soldiers’ engaged in corporate battle.”  Her other works extend beyond business park. In “Endless Sunrise, she plays on “uniform urbanism and its potential of harmony and productivity through the well-orchestrated lives of the “shufu” Japanese housewives” and their “Disneyland lifestyles.” Also delightful is her “Pleasures of Destruction Merry-Go-Round.” Her Web site has fantastic video clips of her work (especially “Horizons”), but here’s a video of Miyata Jiro on the prowl in Sydney, Australia. (via Art Machines)

Julie Greicius is a writer and editor based in California. Follow her on Twitter. More from this author →