Michael Joaquin Grey

Dreams of Casuality: Zoob, Zoology, Ontology, Otogeny and Botany

Date 10/21/98

Affiliation Artist & Inventor, New York


In the mid 1990's Michael took a hiatus from the art world to build a company to manufacture and sell Zoobs to the commercial toy market. Primordial.com, based in San Francisco, sells millions of Zoobs each year. Zoobs, known as "biological Lego", have 64-fold symmetric joints as opposed to the 4-fold symmetry of Lego blocks, and are available in a brilliant array of post-Mondrian colors.

Zoobs are of interest to artists, biologists, psychologists, roboticists, kinematicians, mathematicians, manufacturing engineers, business students, and anyone interested in how sculpture and biology might be related to the toy market. Michael will bring a huge box of Zoobs to his lecture and will encourage viewers to play with them as he discusses their implications.


Michael Joaquin Grey studied art, biology and genetics at UC Berkeley and graduated in 1984. He then got his MFA from Yale's sculpture program and became a well known artist in New York. One of his first exhibits included a highly polished chrome model of Sputnik, the Soviet spacecraft that launched the space race in the 60's. His sculpture and supercomputer-generated artificial life projects were included in two Whitney Biennials. His ongoing interest in biological evolution, form, and kinematics led him to design a set of 5 elemental geometric structures that he calls Zoobs, after their mythological origins from the primordial Zoop.

-- As of 10/21/98