+Brauer takes old mechanical parts that he finds in abandoned workshops and garages and works them into new forms. He has gathered components for years and has amassed quite a collection comprising objects he has found and some he has bought second-hand or from scrap dealers.
Additionally, friends and colleagues also keep a look out for him, occasionally bringing him objects as well. As he told Karmapolitan, “For years I’ve been retrieving, sorting, ordering, and storing parts. It is necessary to go through this in order to be able to create with more freedom.”
At times, the sight of just one item inspires the idea for a new sculpture that pops right into his head, and right from that moment he knows exactly what kind of robot he wants to create and the personality to give it. Robots first begin as sketches on paper; the metal objects then are laid together on the floor to test out their shapes and how the pieces fit together, whether harmoniously or not.
Also during the initial sketching stage +Brauer simultaneously works on the lighting design. Then he outfits the robots with lights that are also created from recycled materials. These are not the easiest of tasks, however the artist has developed methods for each new challenge in order to obtain the hoped-for results. The electrical circuitry is the most complex part, and it is the element that most vividly brings the robot to life. Each robot has its own specifically tailored lighting system.
Once the lighting and electrics are worked out, he cuts windows into the metal and begins the assembly process. It is challenging to assemble metals that were not created to be put together, and each part reveals its own constraints when assembly is underway, which +Brauer completes using techniques such as sawing, cutting, welding, screwing, and burnishing to refine and adapt the components. Sometimes it is here that he sees what might be missing; some sculptures remain in progress for months until he has all the parts he needs to complete them. Each completed robot is a unique piece.
“For years I’ve been retrieving, sorting, ordering, and storing parts.”