This clip has encouraged me to make a more careful film using the mecane. I plan to extend the machine by adding more cameras and microphones to its mechanism.
(Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae, 411 BC)
The mecane of ancient Greek theatre and the rehabilitation exercises for Functional Neurological Deficit are the progenitors of this machine. The images above come from the machine’s integral camera and screen which presents the raising and lowering of an index finger to the soundtrack of mechanical strain. The machine as a whole is a larger assembly of motors, cams and levers cannibalised from previous works. Like the Deus Ex Machina of Ancient Greece the expected focus of the piece is on the ‘miraculous’ raising of a finger. The machine itself is complicit in this as the viewer is inevitably drawn to the video screen. The screen presents what might be assumed to be the synthesised, encoded “result” of the actions of the machine – the god finger. However if the viewer breaks their gaze from the screen there is more to behold. tbc….
A recent project for FACT, Metal and Google necessitated the manufacture of a number of small machines that were intended to attract public interest while carrying IOT beacons. In the narrative of the project the machines were to act as autonomous operatives for a shadowy (and fictional) organisation called the Object Liberation Front. Each of these operatives contained either simple proximity sensors or manually operated buttons that invited or responded to human presence.