EARLY COIN OPERATED
These machines were made with electrical bits from industrial surplus shops, which
used to exist in London (Lisle St and Edgware Rd). I still lacked the skill and experience
to make the mechanism reliable, so none of the machines could be left unattended.
used to loan them for art exhibitions but after I lost interest both in
art galleries and in the machines, they’ve been rotting in a shed for 15
years. I’m not good at going back but Graham (who helps with many of my
projects) was keen to see them, so we spent three days cleaning them and
nursing them back to life to put on you tube.
THE DISGUSTING SPECTACLE
This is, rather predictably,
a nose picking machine
This is a nut cracker. He swings the hammer back and forth and finally brings it down on
the nut (on the wooden block). It works well on really tough nuts like brazil nuts, but
tends to pulverise walnuts.
THE INSOMNIAC'S FRIEND
He simply yawns at you
He pours a glass of whiskey and shoots it down the bar. Unfortunately whiskey is rather
sticky so the bar needed frequent cleaning.
He later went to Cabaret mechanical theatre in Covent Gdn, where he didn't pour any liquid
and the glass was wrapped in sticky tape so it wasn't dangerous when it fell off.
They do a ritual dance to the tap above
He buzzes and vibrates his eyes
With a proximity sensor she starts to scold anyone who gets within range. Inserting the
money shuts her up.
The mother throws nuts at you, the father looks on bemused and the child jumps around and
finally squirts you with water. Although this was my favourite of the early machines it
makes such a mess (the combination of water and squashed nuts on the ground) that its
never found a good home.
THE WHOLE ARCADE
I took the machines to occasional local events, like Henham Steam rally. The weight of
cash at the end of the day was wonderfully satisfying.
He slowly blows up a ballon until it bursts in your face