Recorded at DasArts, Amsterdam
Idea and direction: Orion Maxted
Performed by, and developed in collaboration with:
Michael Burditt Norton
Margo van de Linde
Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor
Together with his collaborators, Orion is creating art/language machines as a research tool for coding collective creativity and imagination; to question human subjectivity and the relationship between man, nature, machine, organism.
Since 2014 he has been working on a piece entitled [THE MACHINE]. Partly inspired by Georges Perec’s radio play of the same title, Orion and his collaborators are building a performance machine.
[THE MACHINE] is formed by people continually reproducing and mutating each other’s words and gestures according to an algorithm. Output becomes input creating a continual live feedback-loop and the potential for complex behaviour to emerge from simple rules. Applying algorithmic transformations to everyday language, [THE MACHINE] ignites a mesmerising roller-coaster in the imagination, playfully shifting subjectivities between ‘you’, ‘I’, ‘we’, and ‘the Machine’.
In this computer, the human components playfully destabilise the discontinuity between nature and machine; asking in what ways we are – in our language, our subjectivities, our societies, our bodies, our collectivities – conglomerations of machines or algorithms. And by the same token, how machines are extensions of us, and so of nature.
[THE MACHINE] presents existential vertigo, a proposition for thinking together, and a roller-coaster of language, imagination and shifting subjectivites - and aims to be at once thought-provoking, oddly entertaining, unsettling and potentially useful. It is a laboratory for the creation of new modes of thinking together; a system for navigating the space of possibility; testing new systems of thought, new subjectivities, new ideas, new worlds. A self-generating performance machine – with a different output each time it is performed - it is a laboratory for the creation of new modes of thinking together; in other words, for the creation of new systems of thought, new subjectivities, new ideas, new worlds.