Artificial Killing Machine is an autonomous interactive mechanical installation by Jonathan Fletcher Moore. This time based work accesses a public database on U.S. military drone strikes. When a drone strike occurs, the machine activates, and fires a children’s toy cap gun for every death that results. The raw information used by the installation is then printed. The materialized data is allowed to accumulate in perpetuity or until the life cycle of either the database or machine ends. A single chair is placed beneath the installation inviting the viewers to sit in the chair and experience the imagined existential risk.
“When individuals are represented purely as statistical data, they are stripped of their humanity and our connection to them is severed. Through the act of play and the force of imagination, this project aims to reconnect that which has been lost,” – Moore (http://www.polygonfuture.com/artificial-killing-machine)
I had the opportunity to see the work in person while I was in Taipei for a holiday. Situated in Bo-Pi Liao a defunct abattoir now turned into a space for arts and culture, I remember (if my memory did not fail me) the installation was producing plastic-ky clicking noises instead of the loud unsettling bangs shown in the video below. To me, there wasn’t much of a difference in both of the displays, in fact I think the plastic-ky clicking noises contributed to how lives were belittled as if it was some kind of Russian Roulette.
Do check out more about this work on Moore’s site here including production notes.
Image Credits: http://www.polygonfuture.com/artificial-killing-machine