In collaboration with Paolo Cardini
Performance / Installation – Commissioned for the “Faculty Biennial” at the RISD Museum
February 27 to March 28, 2015
Performed by 17 first-year RISD students
Materials: wood, fabric, PLA 3D printed objects, custom-electronics, roller skates, driller, screws, balloon.
“Technical machines obviously work only if they are not out of order. Desiring machines on the contrary continually break down as they run, and in fact run only when they are not functioning properly. Art often takes advantage of this property by creating veritable group fantasies in which desiring production is used to short-circuit social production, and to interfere with the reproductive function of technical machines by introducing an element of dysfunction”, Gilles Deluze, Felix Guattari, L’anti-Oedipe.
The Perpetual Motion Machine is a durational performance that recreates an endless and speculative assembly line. Comprised by 17 performers and 23 wearable props, this “human-machine” explores the nature of mass-manufacturing products by flipping the attention from the final outcome and functionality, to the production of meta-functional objects that only exist to reenact an interminable assembly line.
Subject 1 (A) presses the starter button on Subject 2 and activates the inaugural alarm (B) that indicates Subject 3 to start pumping (C). Subject 4 holds a balloon on his back (D) and Subject 5 let the air out (E) while Subject 6 (F) places 2 screws into a conveyor bar supported by Subject 7, who then transport them to Subject 8 (G – H). Subject 9 drill the two screws into Subject 10 (I), which then are removed by Subject 11 (J) right before Subject 12 reads Julio Córtazar’s “Instructions on how to wind a clock” (K). Subject 13 transfers a light bulb to Subject 14 (L), which is then grabbed by Subject 15 and placed into a dynamo that is cranked by Subject 16 (M). Once the light is ON and the flag goes up, Subject 17 skates towards Subject 1 to re-start the system.
RISD Division of Experimental & Foundation Studies
Mark Moscone, RISD Director of Campus Exhibitions
Special thanks to the performers, RISD students class of 2018: Alara Alkan, Chelsea Alexander, Philip Bayer, Anna Bonesteel, Evan Chung, Liza Dyskina, Mimi Fang, Sean Garrett, Timothy Ha, Ruth Han, Adrianne, Hugh, So Min Im, Enna Ikuta, Jessica Kandar, Amy Kwon, Alex Lee, April Lee, Kelly Lee, Miriam Lee, Qingyi Li, Pei Xin Liu, Alice McDonald, Amit Miretzky, Jonh Moraskie, Tiffany Ng, Andrew Nota, Jacob Poindexter, Jinny Rim, Claire Richey, Manav Sriprakash, Shaina Tabak, Pornpiya Tejapaibul, Laura Weimer, Claire Weaver-Zeman, Clayton Wiggers, Daniel Woolhiser, Samantha Xia, Jess Young, Priscilla Yuen, Jackson Zhao.