Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Megafauna – Tabor Robak Copy

Theano June 18, 2021

Step One: Immerse yourself in the artwork

What is “Megafauna”?

Megafauna 2020 is a new work by Tabor Robak, which takes the form of an immersive installation spreading across an entire darkened room in the gallery. Commissioned and acquired for the NGV Collection, Megafauna is a group of computer-generated animations that surrounds the viewer on video screens and projections.

You can explore the Megafauna gallery space virtually:

Step Two: Learn from the artist

What am I looking at?

Numerous highly detailed digital sculptures – called Magi – glow in the darkened space. On the floor a digital projection responds to our movement, and before us is a glowing control console. The imagery in Megafauna is visually derived from micro-biology, advanced robotics, data storage, and sacred iconography. The installation, lit by the light of these numerous digital images, feels like a sacred space or a monument.

Moving constantly on the screens of the Magi are animated forms – part-organic, part-machine – that recall the technologies that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is most likely to emerge from: geoimaging and cartography, military science and weaponisation, banking and healthcare.

Megafauna is about the mythology of AI and advanced technology, exploring the god-like importance we place on it in our present trajectory as a society. The work explores the ethical and philosophical implications of our attitude to technology.

Who is the artist?

Tabor Robak is a new media artist who graduated in 2010 from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Since this time he has participated in over 60 exhibitions worldwide. His work examines the relationship between humanity, nature, and technology, often blurring the lines of the real and artificial. Robak has grown up loving technology and the imagined futures of science fiction, video games and anime.

Watch Robak’s 3-minute explanation of his work (you don’t need to watch the entire video):

“Embedded in this aesthetic is a longing for a time where my personal feelings about technology were associated with happiness”

Tabor robak

Step Three: Draw your own conclusions

In the Masterclass you will be introducing your peers who looked at other works to Megafauna. As such, it’s important that you feel comfortable talking about Robak’s work.

Create a document and take notes on the following prompts (150 words per prompt):

  • What interested you about Megafauna that made you choose to investigate it?
  • What is depicted in Megafauna?
  • How do you feel about a future where biological life and machine have merged?