The MachinePosted: July 12, 2011 | |
The very word “machine” nostalgically conjures a curious alchemy of metal, rubber, gears, grease and wiring that, when working, grinds and spins towards awaiting obsolescence. A machine isn’t a technology, it’s an artifact. The machine that I’m thinking of is already obsolete, driven there by its own inner workings. And this internal operating system, desperate to show that it actually does something, only spits out reams and reams of paper instead of doing what it’s been assigned. It wants to work, but it doesn’t want to go anywhere. And now, it has dug a ditch so deep with its ponderous, aimless activity that this pit is the only home it remembers. If this machine were a car with its own navigation system, it wouldn’t look for open road and wouldn’t crave its attendant rush of hot wind under a cooling sun. Instead it would constantly look for walls to crash into. This machine loves pain. Is addicted to it. Or maybe its just numb.
In a downtown museum, a massive steel machine full of blackened, dust-filled openings that nobody can identify sits in dank storage. Glazed onto its dark surfaces is a sweet, unknown history. It sits dumbly on a wooden floor looking for all the world like a bronze sculpture of a forgotten soldier crouching in a foreign ruin, trying to take a crap.