balance machine

balance machine is a record of experiments in randomly editing programming code. the original animations were derived from an interactive Flash demo designed to illustrate 3D techniques to enable a cube to be rotated using the mouse. the code was cut up (arbitrarily deleting lines of code / copying and pasting segments of code randomly). most of the experiments not surprisingly failed to compile into run-time programmes, but a couple did and could be run for several seconds before causing the computer to crash. These brief interactive animations exhibited chaotic-like behaviour, in which finding a rest-state was very difficult (where no interaction produced no effect).

8 years later, several runs of the same cut-up code have been compiled and edited into a single channel video work, with a soundtrack based on processed audio samples; ambulance radio traffic, morse code and bees… spooky transmissions from a world not too far away.

balance machine 1
2011
720p video, audio, 4'08

balance machine (1.15)

balance machine (1.15) screenshot from original animation
2003

balance machine 1 (birth 3)

balance machine 1 (birth 3)
2011
digital c-type print, 25 x 45 cm

balance machine 1 (birth 5)

balance machine 1 (birth 5)
2011
digital c-type print, 25 x 45 cm

balance machine 1 (composite)

balance machine 1 (composite)
2011
digital c-type print, 30 x 50 cm

balance machine 2 (composite)

balance machine 2 (composite)
2011
digital c-type print, 30 x 50 cm

biological processes do not reverse entropy, but an organism as a whole seems to enable itself to make increasing states of organisation possible, as if it is borrowing something, to temporarily resist the tendency towards disorder

so on a macro scale we are part of a system that fights against entropy, but at a micro level, we are founded upon a system that embraces entropy. therefore at the most fundamental level, the system is such that it intrinsically works to support both tendencies, i.e a system that is intrinsically paradoxical, but at the same time is in complete balance. the balance is between the actual properties of the system and, to a degree that is equally opposite, the emergent properties

a system that is perfectly in such a state of balance might seem to have 2 key properties:

the balance applies to the totality of the system. because we are only part of the system, and can only see or imagine a part of this totality, it follows that we cannot see the whole. we might intuit it, but for us we can only ’see what we see’ – and that applies not just to what we see when we walk along the street and turn a corner, but also by extension to our thoughts and theories

if the system is in balance, then there would be no way in which it could ever leave this balanced state, because that would require an external agent; and the definition of ‘the system’ includes everything, internal and external. so there is by definition nothing that could ever be external to the system, because as soon it was found or imagined, it would become part of the system. by extension a system that can never change it’s state must also be a system that has never changed it’s state. therefore the system (of which we are a part) has existed in this fundamental state for ever, through an infinity of ages, and will continue to do so. from our point of view however, we are born, live and die. as it is with the planets and stars and galaxies and the whole universe… but all this is built upon a structure, a system, that is with neither a beginning nor an end – and so, outside of time

our concept of time is based upon the perception of cause and effect, one thing follows another: time is the separation of events, the idea that if one thing follows on from another, then they must both be different things, and therefore have a space between them. but if we cannot literally see any space between one thing and another, then we need time to explain the difference, the change, i.e one thing (or state) changes into another thing (or state). the change is delineated in terms of time, i.e. we perceive the change in states not simply as a change from one thing to another, but additionally as happening as a movement through time. ‘time’ is not an absolute thing, we don’t really believe that it exists, our grasp of time is as slippery as a fish, it is just a measure for us of how things change. what else is there for us to do?