Machine-Vehicles (M-Vs) are effective intervention tools to draw out knowledge and stories from a participating public.  This is because M-Vs can create a dynamic multiple interplay of realism and fiction in the everyday experience of the city.  This developing proposition is the triangulation of Realism, Fiction and the Machine.  

The experience of realism and fiction exists in all aspects of life.  We continuously engage with both in deliberate and unconscious ways.  Acting as a mediator between individuals and site, the M-V enters locations without apparent reason or prior warning (the Trojan Horse effect).  Quietly intervening with the realism to fiction mix, M-Vs disable the normal means of communication in order to change and to heighten the engagement.  By reducing some sensorial capacities others are enhanced through concentrated attention.  This altered means of communication encourages direct, honest, sometimes unexpected and often quite intimate responses. 

Machine-Vehicles have twelve defining characteristics, they:

1. Operate in public spaces in cities

2. Are on wheels and therefore mobile

3. Appear as a form of containment and channelling mechanism

4. Have an ‘operator’ orchestrating the engagement

5. Use a specific interaction process

6. Each address a particular theme and related subject matter

7. Operate live and active in public spaces

8. Facilitate and encourage public participation

9. Use indirect, novel and focused engagement techniques

10. Utilise low-tech or analogue technology

11. Appear both industrial and futuristic

12. Arrive at sites unannounced with an unknown purpose

M-Vs are part of a genealogy of fictional and functional machine inventions, dating back to the Ancient Greeks.  M-Vs are used to facilitate knowledge (realism/data) and story (fiction/unconscious) collection from site, typically a city location.  The chosen place is variously explored, recoded and amplified by the intervening M-V and its willing participants.

All Machine-Vehicles on this website are available for deployment in locations across Australia and internationally.  Their function, design features and operating strategies have been individually identified.  Public liability insurance cover and WH&S procedures are integral to each deployment.  New M-Vs are currently under construction and all are available on request.  For further information or to make a M-V booking, visit the contact page of this website.

© Astra Howard 2014