“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.””
These Machine Art pieces show a range of art works using digital technologies, analogue and electromechanical machines or some combination of each. I’ve chosen several exemplars of this type of work that is both art (an aesthetic object with no utilitarian function save the viewers pleasure-of-looking) and a machine (a device which performs a series of functions and transformations in the real world that would seem to imply a use-value).
None of these exist only digitally or virtually: they are all real world objects which may have a digital component. For instance Jansen’s Strandbeest is an analogue machine which “remembers” where it is on the beach with a rudimentary digital computer made out of plastic water bottles that function using a binary calculation system.
The “Robotic Chair” created by Dean et al. is a mechanical chair installation that has a computer component that sends information to the “brain” within the chair so that it can put itself back together after falling apart.
I chose the work based on an arbitrary set of criteria:
Based on this set of criteria the artist would either have to have been and engineer or programmer or would have had to collaborate with one (as was the case with Max Dean). Jansen’s work is perhaps an exception to the first criteria since it uses only plastic bottles and tubing (plastic was invented in 1855), but the “brain” of the creature could not have been invented until Alan Turing’s 1937 paper describing the “Universal Machine”.
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