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Arthur Silber

This Art Machine Holds Your Arm Hostage Until Someone Else Puts Theirs In

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Arthur Silber

Ad Infinitum, a new piece of art currently on display at Science Gallery Dublin, is a parasite. When you place your hand inside the machine, it uses electrical stimulation to force your muscles to contract, making you involuntarily crank the lever inside to generate electricity. If you try to stop cranking, it uses the electrical stimulation to make you start again. As Co.Design writes, it turns the user into the used.

Created by researchers studying human-machine interaction at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany, the machine clamps around your arm, so it’s impossible to stop feeding it. If you stop moving, it will force your muscles to work, whether you like it or not. The clamps won’t let go unless someone else puts his or her arm in from the other side and begins cranking.

The minute you try the machine, you give up control of your arm. Ad Infinitum forces you to either serve this machine’s need for electricity forever or convince someone else to become trapped for the same purpose. The machine is using you for its own gain, and you can either become its servant or persuade someone that it's a super fun task they need to try immediately.

The creators of the project—Pedro Lopes, Robert Kovacs, Alexandra Ion, David Lindlbauer, and Patrick Baudisch—do not say what happens if you are the only person in the exhibit, so maybe don’t try it if you’re the last one in the gallery.

It’s on view at Science Gallery Dublin until May.

[h/t Co.Design]

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Art
A Beached Whale Sculpture Popped Up on the Banks of Paris's Seine River
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iStock

In Paris, dozens of fish varieties live in the Seine River. Now, the Associated Press reports that the famous waterway is home to a beached whale.

Rest assured, eco-warriors: The sperm whale is actually a lifelike sculpture, installed on an embankment next to Notre Dame Cathedral by Belgian artists’ collective Captain Boomer. It’s meant to raise environmental awareness, and evoke "the child in everyone who still is puzzled about what is real and what is not,” collective member Bart Van Peel told the Associated Press.

The 65-foot sculpture has reportedly startled and confused many Parisians, thanks in part to a team of fake scientists deployed to “survey” the whale. One collective member even posted a video on social media, warning Parisians that there “may be others in the water” if they opt to take a dip in the river, The Local reported.

The whale sculpture is only temporary—but as for Captain Boomer, this isn’t their first whale-related stunt. Last summer, the collective installed a similar riverside artwork in Rennes, France, and they also once strapped a large-scale whale sculpture to the back of a truck and drove it around France.

[h/t Associated Press]

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Art
Artist Makes Colorful Prints From 1990s VHS Tapes

A collection of old VHS tapes offers endless crafting possibilities. You can use them to make bird houses, shelving units, or, if you’re London-based artist Dieter Ashton, screen prints from the physical tape itself.

As Co.Design reports, the recent London College of Communication graduate was originally intrigued by the art on the cover of old VHS and cassette tapes. He planned to digitally edit them as part of a new art project, but later realized that working with the ribbons of tape inside was much more interesting.

To make a print, Ashton unravels the film from cassettes and VHS tapes collected from his parents' home. He lets the strips fall randomly then presses them into tight, tangled arrangements with the screen. The piece is then brought to life with vibrant patterns and colors.

Ashton has started playing with ways to incorporate themes and motifs from the films he's repurposing into his artwork. If the movie behind one of his creations isn’t immediately obvious, you can always refer to its title. His pieces are named after movies like Backdraft, Under Siege, and that direct-to-video Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen classic Passport to Paris.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Dieter Ashton

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