Artist Talk: Fernando Orellana



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Fernando Orellana, whose piece Voice is featured in the center of the Berman Art Museum's Essential Work exhibition, joins us virtually to discuss his poignant work.

The robotic picketers in Fernando Orellana’s Voice occupy space in silent resistance until a museum visitor presses the blinking red button reading, “RESIST HERE,” setting in motion 30 seconds of vigorous, cacophonous protest. Prompted by the visitor’s intervention, the robots, gears whirring, disrupt the quietude of the space, hoisting political signs aloft that read: “DO WE LOOK LIKE ALIENS,” “IMMIGRANTS ARE AMERICA,” and “WE ARE HUMAN.” However, the robots are not human; they are mechanical surrogates for the human bodies they represent, acknowledging the precarious position of migrants, especially when speaking freely and forcefully.

At the same time, the visitor’s gesture is revealed as passive and short-lived, as they either press the button again to continue the agitation, or move along, suggesting the degree to which labor in general, and dissent in particular, are increasingly mediated by technology.

Publication Date



Fernando Orellana, art and technology, machines, artificial intelligence, art installations, activism


Art Practice | Fine Arts | Science and Technology Studies


The M4V video file has a run time of 0:58:21.

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Artist Talk: Fernando Orellana