Like any deity worth its salt, we still fear The Machine. They say it will take our jobs – you can’t trust it. They say it can set us free, give us hope – do the work for us and release us to abound into a future of endless leisure. It’s a hand offering food, don’t bite it, it might be all you’ve got.
In the virtual world there is no grease, just perfect movement. Without friction there is no wear, no need to maintain. These machines can toil away endlessly leaving us sat on the sidelines with nothing to do but question the actions played out in front of us. And they carry on, pushing, pulling, hitting, sorting, sweeping. Each action must have a reason – surely?
Or there again maybe it’s just ritual, an attempt at appeasement, a prayer for a release from the Boschian nightmare in which they find themselves. Turn the crank for 8 hours a day and you’ll be rewarded with a fine gold nugget.
The virtual world spills out into the real. Parts come together in an attempt to create function; they repeat, stutter then fall away leaving a purpose that is entirely totemic. Born from a process of heavy industry, cut by lasers from metal sheets only to end up in a life of static redundancy. Poised for action but still somehow limp.