The Listening Machine

This week, Martyn set us quite the tricky task:

‘Practicing within the world’.

Choose either wind, water or Ground (or all of them!) and create a piece of work that lets these things speak.

Identify a place and design a method based upon the three discussed today:

(1) Klee and Eliasson (drawing),

(2) Ingold (walking),

(3) Morton (describing -writing)

And let the world express itself.  Present both method* and results next week.

*Be sure to reference theory and artists that inspire you.

This will be tricky without referencing the beautiful artistry of the example Martyn showed us – Olafur Eliasson ‘Connecting Cross Country with a line’ (2013).  Think man, think!


A visual representation of the motion and journey of a train.

What do I connect with the most, wind, water or ground (our old friend dust)?  Whilst watching TV, I saw a child in the back of the shot playing with bubbles from a bubble wand, and then, like a punch in the face, it hit me!  I had an image flash in my mind that would help visualise wind, water and ground (dust); to bring them into the human spectrum.

Here is my presentation from the day : listen

The principle is that the machine is turned by the wind; with each revolution, the bubble wands are separately dipped into the coloured inks and then the wind blows through them, creating an inky bubble.  The bubble is pushed by the wind towards the awaiting canvas, picking up dust and microbes along the way.  When the bubble hits the canvas it pops and leaves an inky mark.  No human interaction is needed.  The wind forms the bubble which traps air and water; the wind pushes the bubble, encountering dust along the way until they are all released onto the canvas.

The potential results of The Listening Machine

The presentation went down really well.  I got a little nervous leading up to the event, and fluffed a few lines, but I think people understood the idea.  In fact, considering I was a team of one and no-one knew me in the group – apart from by face alone – then support was very strong indeed.  I felt proud.  Martyn said that I should genuinely consider building it and displaying the results.  If I can find time…no…I will find time, and I will do it.


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