The Mechanical Moderator for the Visualization and Mediation of Conflict between Man and Machine; or, This Hammer'll be the Death of Me.

4x4x18 ft.

Cast aluminum, wood, steel, tractor


The differential is an interesting device.  Though most simple devices have a single input and a single output, the differential can have two inputs, which, through a clever gear train, are combined to produce a single average output.  To me, the differential is the mechanical embodiment of competition.

In this piece, I set up a competition between the viewer and a tractor, each controlling an input of the sculpture’s differential.  The tractor was attached to the sculpture using a PTO shaft and, when turned on, continuously drove a shiny aluminum worm gear up the sculpture’s tower.  The viewer was then given a choice to collaborate with the tractor, driving the worm gear upwards, or fight the tractor.  Regardless of their choice, the viewer had to confront the machinery with which they surround themselves (in the form of the tractor), and decide how they respond to it.

Built and installed in the amphitheater at Salem Art Works.