Machines that Almost Fall Over, life in a machinic metaphor

Michael Kontopoulos

Machines that Almost Fall Over by Michael Kontopoulos is a sculpture made of several angular boards with a simple clockwork mechanism mounted on them that raises and then drops a hammer onto the flat face of the upright front board. Each of the boards rocks slowly on a pivotal point, almost falling forward, then rocks back and settles again, awaiting the next raise of the hammer. The sudden drop of the hammer is in sharp opposition to the delicate nature of the ensuing balancing act. Machines that Almost Fall Over creates an expectation that you are going to see something violent take place: perhaps an act of destruction. Instead our expectations are suspended. It reminds us that often our own behaviour can have pivotal moments when things could go either way: what if I do this instead of that? What if I decide to do nothing? The boards settle back into their starting position. And we get to decide again about our lives. Sometimes.

Mark R Hancock