A Philosophical Machine

Sunday 25th September, 2016

We saw Tinguely’s sculptures today at the Stedelijk museum. In the final instillation we stood watching the enormous sculpture made of rusted metals, animal sculls, wood and other found objects. A mythical machine, a great mechanical beast. Jon called it ‘a philosophical machine,’ which I thought was clever. We sat silently, waiting for the machine to start, to have its say. While we waited, we had to listen to our own gears grind. But oh – how the sculpture sang when it started up, told of a human frailty. It’s awry lullaby was mesmerising. The sculpture reminded me of Uncle Geoff’s artful constructions in Newstead, Victoria. His totemic arrangement of old metal pieces, rocks, nails, horse shoes and so on in his garden – the detritus of capitalism.