Life is movement. Everything transforms itself, everything modifies itself ceaselessly, and to try to stop it . . . seems to me a mockery of the intensity of life.
- Jean Tinguely
Made primarily of steel and wooden parts, the Machine (Mach12e) expresses an elusiveness of time and place. Burning Man participants will at first have the opportunity to view the sculpture, a triangulated meta-mechanical temple, in the open vista of the playa. They will explore its isolation, both spatial and emotional. Three elevated drive wheels and housings, a raised rotating central core comprised of a tower of gears and a transmission, and an upper platform that suspends eight articulated kinetic limbs define its multifaceted rust, blue, and gray form.
Firmly grounded in science, engineering and art, the Machine embodies the universality of many themes and presents a slightly different experience to each observer/participant. There are obvious ways to be involved and interact and more complex issues to investigate and interpret. Patterns, stories, and images will combine, illuminating the structure of the human psyche (the conscious, subconscious and the unconscious) and inspiring self-reflection.
Multiple levels of awareness are embodied in the Machine. It can be seen as a microcosm of our relationships in and contributions to the community and the world. The gradual evolution and transformation serves as a metaphor for the process of individuation. It also encourages investigation of tension, paradox, and our fascination with control; at first drawing people in, helping them form an emotional attachment, and then ultimately teaching them about letting go.
As the city grows, inhabitants will begin to negotiate and develop their identities, looking inward to self, home and community. This is when the structure activates - each piece of the Machine and each action participants take to actualize the form, both conscious and unconscious, contribute to its final incarnation. The city will give breath to this monolithic organism.
The transformation of the Machine cannot be realized by a single person, and requires the community to bring it forth from concept to reality. As the drive wheels are turned, the transmission will engage gears that rotate the central core and upper platform, and spin and raise the limbs. This involvement and investment will illicit greater bonds than would be possible by passive viewing alone.
Over the course of the week, the Machine will be shaped and altered, carrying the cumulative evidence of environmental and human influence. Each interaction will witness a new stage of evolution and unique configuration. And then, as with all things, destroy
itself . . .