Happy Machine

Presented by Artengine during our annual Maker Faire.
Artists: Ken Rinaldo, Simon Laroche & David Szanto, Alex Reben, Robert Hengeveld

Happy Machine is an artistic intervention into the Ottawa Maker Faire. Happy Machine is a curated project of art works combined with public programming to create a significant space for artists and their work within this major public event. The selected works all engage the physical aspects of technology and innovation. They also move across artistic disciplines and in and out of engineering, coding/programming, botany and food production. Each of the selected works challenges the boundary of its production context, and with Happy Machine we also intend to challenge its presentation context, bringing both the creative projects and the artists outside of the traditional cultural context into the unique space of the Maker Faire. The works will be installed in a special designed area of the Maker Faire venue to provide some creative context to their work, but in the spirit of the fair, its openness about technique and craft, the artist will be present to discuss their work with the diverse popular audience of the Maker Faire.

Ken Rinaldo: Woman's Tears Machine Gun

The Woman’s Tears Machine Gun is a gun to end all wars. With bullets constructed of woman’s tears it completely deflates the desire for violence. A woman’s tears contain chemical substances which diminish testosterone and point to the fact that woman’s tears may possess chemical signals.

While some animals use scents and sprays to communicate chemically such as mice, which use proteins to signal receptivity to sex it was not formerly know that humans communicated chemically. The neurobiologist Noam Sobel at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel has peered into subjects’ brains using functional magnetic resonance imaging, they have found that the region of the brain that generally active and lights up when an individual is aroused, the fusiform gyrus and hypothalamus was diminished when the men were exposed to the woman’s tears.

Their breathing rates, skin temperature, and testosterone levels also sank and as high levels of testosterone can be associated with increased possibilities for aggression with some, the woman’s tears machine gun may be the safest gun on the planet.

Simon Laroche & David Szanto: Perpetual Demotion

Perpetual Demotion by robotics artist Simon Laroche and food scholar and artist David Szanto features a shiny robot, spoons filled with different kinds of paste, and a human ‘slave’. A ‘slave’ as the artists label their human helper is an unnamed and silent woman, who’s function is to serve the robot spoons of paste for each new participant. The robot is attached to the wall and equipped to recognize your facial features, pick up a spoon and move the spoon of paste towards your mouth. The robot has a video camera to live stream or record the interaction from the robot’s perspective as it feeds the brave visitors.

Alex Reben: various works

Alex Reben’s work invites the viewer to become the subject in a dialogue between technology and humanity. Ranging from low to high tech and from playful to serious, each piece uses technology to engage an element of human experience: including love, attraction, physical pleasure, repulsion, and pain. Works will include a machine that gives visitors a ‘headgasm’, robots that break down barriers with cuteness, devices that placate and tease, a mask that mechanizes humanity, and installations that invoke child-like joy and suggest unbearable visceral pain.

Ken Rinaldo: Paparazzi Bot

The Paparazzi Bot is an autonomous robots standing at the height of the average human. Comprised of multiple microprocessors, cameras, sensors, code and robotic actuators on a custom-built rolling platform, it moves at the speed of a walking human, avoiding walls and obstacles while using sensors to move toward humans. It seeks one thing, which is to capture photos of people and to make these images available to the press and the world wide web as a statement of culture’s obsession with the “celebrity image” and especially our own images.

Robert Hengeveld: Kentucky Perfect

Rolls of sod are laid end to end along a narrow aluminum structure. A wheeled light assembly continually moves across the grass as if scanning it, this is occasionally interrupted by the rapid entrance of a reel mower that cuts back any growth of the last twenty minutes. The lights again return to its methodical sweeping. Periodically, a watering-boom also enters the stage misting the grass according to the atmospheric conditions.