Craft & Design
Yes, There is a Robotic Penis Wall at Maker Faire This Year
Artist and her creation
Artist Peiqi Su building her creation.

Maker Faire has always straddled a line of edgy and educational, a blend that makes it a magical, must-see event year after year. There’s no where else, for instance, where you can learn how solder while being sandwiched next to super-sized, fire-belching metal statues. And while this year’s World Maker Faire New York, opening Saturday at the New York Hall of Science, is no different, one particular exhibit has everyone talking.

It’s a wall of robotic penises.

The creation, made by Peiqi Su as part of her thesis project for NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, consists of 81 articulating penises that can move in response to realtime changes in the stock market, to the viewers movement, or to any other input set by the creator. The piece is an immediate attention-getter and a fascinating piece of art.

There were several internal conversations at Make: about including it in this year’s event, but in the end, the art of the piece spoke loudest. “It’s a form of expression based on human anatomy, and it’s done by an artist who is interested in how you respond to it,” explains Make: founder and CEO Dale Dougherty.

We would love attendees to the Faire to see the piece and determine their feelings about it. The display is located inside a closed tent that is clearly labelled, so there won’t be any surprises and it can be avoided if the subject matter makes you uncomfortable. Its artistic expression will hopefully resonate with everyone, but if not, there are hundreds of other enjoyable things to see and do at the event.


Mike Senese is the Executive Editor of Make: magazine. He is also a TV host, starring in various engineering and science shows for Discovery Channel, including Punkin Chunkin, How Stuff Works, and Catch It Keep It.

An avid maker, Mike spends his spare time tinkering with electronics, doing amateur woodworking, and attempting to cook the perfect pizza.

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