A short biography

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The orbswarm project has its origins in the Flaming Lotus Girls, a San Francisco based art collective which has produced such works as the Seven Sisters, the Hand of God, and the Serpent Mother, all large scale kinetic art installations. Michael Prados, a member of the Flaming Lotus Girls, had long been interested in animatronics, mechatronics, robotics, and the synergy of artificial life both with itself, and the dynamics where machines and humans interact. Prados, as well as other members, have long standing interests in these subjects, as well as things such as behaviors shown by collaborative systems, such as ants, bees, or groups of robots, which appear to be greater than the sum of the individual parts. From this, and ongoing interests in emergent behaviors and collective intelligence, ideas which were to become the orbswarm project began to grow. In January, 2007, Michael and some friends proposed the project to the Flaming Lotus Girls. The project generated some interest in the art collective, but it was decided that a sister project be started instead, and thus the orbswarm project was born. The project evolved from there, producing its own aesthetic and internal dynamic. The project gained its original, initial funding from the Burning man organization, adding to the accessibility of the work and its inherent transitional and interactive quality. Today, the project has had much success, both within its origins as a Burning Man project, and at other events and installations. Humans are able to interact with the orbs, exploring them, dancing with them, and accepting them as if they were sentient organisms, albeit based on a different synthesis than their own.