Footage of the Reversing Machine, a work by Sam Belinfante and Simon Lewandowski, installed at Art Laboratory Berlin (artlaboratory-berlin.org/html/eng-exh-26.htm) from March to May 2012. The installation alludes to the notion of Kairos as opportune time, as opposed to Chronos, the course of time. The artwork is a constructed mechanism, whose central piece, called by the artists a Time-Setter or Chronocrator, is an attempt to examine temporal perception by means of running different machines forwards and backwards. Both its analogue structure and its emphasis on bi-directionality (dual-direction) call modern conceptions of linear progress into question.
This palindrome is an artistic reflection on our contemporary life with its many simultaneously controlled processes and repetitive actions. “The central device (literally and figuratively comprising the functioning core) is a kinetic sculpture in the form of a self-reversing gearbox mechanism which will trigger and power various (forward and reverse) looping devices.” The drive shaft powers a series of machines (a turntable, a slide projector, moving lamp, etc.) – and then switches in reverse, forming a mechanical palindrome which in turn creates a poetics of dichotomy: on and off, forward and reverse, loud and quiet, dark and light.
“This behaviour is entirely determined by the mechanism, (not by any kind of digital controller) being consequently completely transparent – revealing both the what and the how of its action.” (Belinfante & Lewandowski)
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