Two Lives and Two True Machines

26 May 2018 – 17 Jun 2018

Event times

26.5.18 - 17.6.18
12-6 pm
Friday,Saturday Sunday & by appt.

Cost of entry


Coleman Projects

London, United Kingdom


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A collaborative exhibition by Justyna K Kabala, Thomas Mc Caughan with Cian Mc Conn and Matthew Stuart



these equals slave goes like this

no more commoner adventurers

slaves and opponents for a kiss

users, cases dead and gone

existence of the eternity

tormented dreams without urge

my single appointees scourge

two lives and two true machines

The title of the exhibition is the last line of a poem made using an automatic poetry generator, a programme based on the same pattern recognition techniques used for machine learning. While some of the works appear in the form of studies and simulations, others are more matter-of-fact, like product demonstrations or displays. The use of transparent cases, seals and environmentally controlled containers refers here to methods of monitoring and management.

The installation in the main gallery is a restaging of a damp and partially mouldy curtain once seen through the steamed-up window of a strip club – an allusion to the idea of ‘work’ in a space where the body is most obviously a resource employed in the service sector. A velvet curtain has been encased in clear acrylic and fitted with a system to control the humidity, encouraging the growth of mould for the duration of the exhibition. The floor of the gallery has been covered with a series of images sourced from CCTV footage, inadvertently broadcast online – an unforeseen consequence of the abundance of cheap networked surveillance systems.

The works in the shed space examine inefficiencies of the human body in relation to new modes of labour and automation. This is referenced through the appropriation of technologies, materials and processes used in medicine, biotech and robotics that extend the working life of bones and replicate muscle function synthetically.

An accompanying film and publication have been produced by the two artists with contributions from Cian McConn and Matthew Stuart. The film features the Creative Commons scan of Ligier Richier’s ‘Death as a Skeleton’, which has been tracked to video footage of landscapes and cut with imagery of an assembly robot model, yumi.

The publication, meanwhile, presents images of 3D-modelled bone support and replacement products alongside the CCTV stills from the main gallery sourced from monitored workplaces – an Innovations brochure of the future, perhaps, for those interested in seeking or selling the benefits of life extension.

Exhibiting artists

Justyna K Kabala

Cian Mc Conn

Matthew Stuart

Thomas Mc Caughan


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