Apr 6 - May 6, 2000

The Appearance Machine

Willy LeMaitre and Eric Rosenzveig

The Appearance Machine is a perpetual animation device. It slowly grinds away, manufacturing scatological dramas from wrappers, packing material and other debris salvaged from its immediate surroundings. These objects form the set and become characters of a self-evolving, televisual world that is delivered to select locations via live feed from a broadband Internet link.

The Appearance Machine consists of a turntable, a shifting surface upon which the raw materials are deposited, and a camera-switching systems that collects and composes sequences of images that appear to tell a story. The machine performs an alchemic process, turning garbage into a narrative using the grammar of the cinema – shot-reverse-shot, 180-degree rule and function hierarchy of close-up, mid and long shots. Through a live image analysis (using David Rokeby’s Very Nervous System), the machine also composes and performs its own accompanying soundtrack.

Feedback loops between the various aspects of the perpetually evolving piece give rise to the "intelligence" of the machine. Changes in camera angle, perspective and lighting augment the reconfiguration of the materials that occur through vibration, air pressure changes and physical manipulation. The result is a multi-dimensional system that appears to possess articulate intentions, but nonetheless relies heavily on the power of suggestion and the viewer’s willingness to engage in the projection and identification.

The Appearance Machine is part of an ongoing installation by Willy LeMaitre and Eric Rosenzveig, who have been collaborating on artworks since 1993.

Click here to view an archive of the original Appearance Machine exhibition website.

The Appearance Machine is presented as part of the 2000 Images Festival.

Past exhibition
Oct 19 - 23, 2021

What We Are Missing―Rah, Lux Logan, Malik McKoy

A video installation curated by Lorna Mills, screened on the doors of Artscape Wychwood Barns as part of the City of Toronto's BigArtTO program.

Past exhibition
Sep 15 - Oct 9, 2021

Geofenced―Works by Scott Benesiinaabandan, Cat Bluemke & Jonathan Carroll, Adrienne Matheuszik, and Jenn E Norton

Four new augmented reality artworks animate InterAccess's gallery and Toronto's Davenport neighbourhood, connecting viewers to the forgotten histories, contemporary politics, and faraway futures of place. 

Past exhibition
Jul 15 - Aug 7, 2021

dis-ease―Stefana Fratila, Driftnote, and Racquel Rowe

Curated by Rea McNamara, Vector Festival’s flagship exhibition dis-ease considers post-digital performativity and intimacies through a four-week mail art programme.

Back to: News
Back to: Shop
Back to: Shop
Back to: Events
Back to: Exhibitions
Back to: Workshops
Back to: Home
Back to Top