Best Invasion Phoenix 2009 - Robots in Flight by Atticus Fraley, at Scottsdale Civic Center Bell Tower
It became difficult to understand how robots could be portrayed in science fiction as threats after seeing Atticus Fraley's installation. The "Bell'e Art" series, presented by Scottsdale Public Art, rotates art in the Scottsdale Civic Center Bell Tower. We haven't loved every project (frankly, the bubble fountain was disappointing and smelled bad), but we were delighted in early 2009 when an onslaught of flying robots filled the space. Fraley used vintage recycled objects — like U-shaped magnets for hands, industrial light bulbs for heads, thermoses for legs and picnic jugs for bellies. These little guys were soaring, parachuting, and coptering in for an adorable onslaught. At night, with their lightbulb heads aglow, all of Scottsdale welcomed this invasion. We were sorry to see the robots go, but last time we checked, Orange Table — the groovy coffee house adjacent to the art space — was memorializing them on T-shirts.