bloc // April 14, 2011

Paul Granjon ⁄⁄

Born in Lyon, France, in 1965, he grew up in the countryside and developed from an early age an interest in mechanics and electricity. After passing A Levels in mathematics and technology he embarked on a fine art course and graduated in Marseille (France) in 1990. He founded his company Z Productions in1988. At that time he was working as a freelance video and audio technician for petrochemical companies.

Between 1990 and 1995 he directed several short films, all based on a different type of food. Most of the films were shown in European video festivals. In 1995 he was invited to Cardiff (UK) as a research artist. During his residency he produced It is Not a Piece of Cake, a performance that marked the beginning of his international series Z Food across the World which toured in Europe and the USA between 1995 and 1999.

He was offered a lecturing job in Cardiff and moved to the UK in 1995. He then started an intensive period of research in electronics and robotics, while directing and producing 2 Minutes of Experimentation and Entertainment. This video series in 7 episodes was shown internationally and is still touring at time of writing.

In 1999 he created Z Lab Presents, a performance combining his interests for off-key music and robotics, with real robots on stage. The show toured in various venues including the Whitechapel Gallery, London and Mousonturm, Frankfurt.

Since then he developed several installations using robotics, some of them were exhibited in his touring show Z Lab 2001. Some installations were sold to the Arts Council of England and to the Museum of Modern Art of Luxemburg. He also ran a number of DIY robotics workshops for artists and contributed to several conferences and symposiums. He developed Furman, a man size kicking robot and a set of robotic tail and ears, presented in the performance Z Lab Transported that toured internationally between 2003 and 2005.

He was awarded a Nesta (National endowment for science technology and the arts) Fellowship in 2004. He was one of the artists representing Wales in the Venice Biennale 2005, where he exhibited a Robotarium.

In February 2006 he premiered a new performance that includes Sexed Robots and primitive technology in the Arnolfini, Bristol. The performance is touring to Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, UK. He is currently developing projects involving robotic perception and autonomous robots.