September 19


Alexander Boynes, Curator EX MACHINA

EX MACHINA  is a Latin term meaning “from the machine” and goes back to the theatre of ancient Greece where an actor was lowered onto the stage by crane so that the drama might intensify. Imagined by artists Nicci Haynes, Brian McNamara, Stelarc, Arthur Wicks and Pia Van Gelder EX MACHINA presents some of the strangest machines you are ever likely to encounter. Curator Alexander Boynes has cleverly mixed some new machinery with work by artists like Arthur Wicks and Stelarc who were the pioneers in the field of ‘Australian machine art’. Stelarc’s three videos Rewired/Remixed (2015), Propel (2015) and Stickman (2107) display the workings of machinery to which he has become connected. Modern machinery extends the body (or vice versa) and Stelarc uses  points of connection  for performative pieces such as Propel: Body on Robot Arm and Propel: Ear on Robot Arm where the body’s trajectory, velocity and position/orientation in space was choreographed by a 6 degree-of-freedom industrial robot arm operating within a 3m diameter task envelope. Arthur Wicks Peace Car (1990) is a bizarre contraption operated by way of a travelling show in different parts of the world during the 1990s. While the Peace Car looks like some crazy war machine complete with a rocket on top it is not what it seems – it is awkward, slow, scarcely functional and wooden (while having a metallic appearance). Pia Van Gelder’s Recumbent Circuit (2016) is activated by the laying of hands on electronic hand pads that respond with sounds from speakers left and right. Like many of her works it requires audience participation. Similarly, Brian McNamara’s collection of aesthetic circuits are brought to life by touch and sound.  Nicci Haynes is spending her time these days in The Cube having made an aerial as scrambled as the human brain itself – picking up selected radio signals transmitting through paper cones. Bionic chaos. Nicci’s Sonic Pencils (2016/16) and The Sound Drawing (in collaboration with Shags) (2016/17) are drawing machines that discuss and critique the act of drawing while not having a bar of it themselves. Interactivity is the go in EX MACHINA and even in the age of mechanical reproduction this can be a challenge for audiences.  But so far everyone has had a great time …. AT CCAS Gorman Art Centre Galleries until November 11.

Nicci Haynes artist EX MACHINA

Brian McNamara rtist EX MACHINA

Caro, Di, Ann and Moni

Sandra, db and Romero and Peace Car (1990) Arthur Wicks 

Nicci and Georgia

Alex and Nadine

Josh and Claire and Peace Car (1990) Arthur Wicks 

Georgia, Ruby, Tobias and Ellie

Grace and Connor


David and Peter

Cat and Sophie 

Anni, Kate, Brian and Alexander

Katy and Sted

Chris and Bronwyn