Speculative Apparatus

An art machine that acts exclusively upon the human imagination

The Speculative Apparatus is a machine that acts exclusively upon the human imagination; a portable, transparent sculptural technology for looking beyond the immediately present.

A series of dials can labelled and re-labelled to visualise issues discussed by those who use the device. Considered together these dials allow the device to aid speculation about dynamics in mind and society, over time and space.

The work has previously been used during a day of collaborative imagination, opening up ideas about the future of Universities, cultural learning and research.

Starting with a blank screen, the device was ‘built’ through conversations and propositions between participants. Gradually, people described forces and thought about how they acted together and we drew and labelled these movements and changes.

Apparatus in use

Other Art Apparatuses

Other interesting art apparatuses include the collection of theatre and performance equipment held by Jon Primrose at the University of Exeter and the Philips Moniac hydraulic computer, which used water to model the functioning of a national economy.

Techno-scientific devices convey a sense of control and understanding and modern products from toasters to motor vehicles copy their look. What other levers, dials and forces should we be aware of; that aren’t so neatly ‘mechanical’ perhaps?

File source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MONIAC.jpg

Philips Moniac computer, Image: Kaihsu Tai

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