Kristofer Myskja: Machine That Uses A 1000 Years To Shut Itself Down

4 May 2011 – 17 Jul 2011


Birmingham, United Kingdom


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This work by emerging Norwegian artist Kristofer Myskja essentially is a machine that runs for no reason except that, after one thousand years, it will turn itself off. Powered by light, a sequence of geared wheels rotate increasingly — exponentially — slowly, so that the movement of the last one is imperceptible. We know that its progression to the off switch is unstoppable, due to the transparency of the mechanism; despite a complete lack of dramatic effect, the proposition of this apparatus is compelling. Machine that uses a thousand years to shut itself down is as elegant as it is useless. It suggests that its fragile beauty and thought provoking nature are enough and perhaps antidotes in a world too informed by ideologies of functionalism. Ikon's Tower Room is an ideal location, transforming this work into an altarpiece that quietly challenges any tendency towards the protestant work ethic. It becomes a place for reflection on the possibilities of wonderful pointlessness.

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