Art and the Machine: Confluence of Man and Machine
With exhibition ‘Art and the Machine’ Musée des Confluences in Lyon, France, sets questions about the relation of artist and machine.
Art and the Machine is a superb exhibition at Lyon’s Musée des Confluences bringing together objects that for some come from art and for others from technology. This meeting of an artist and machine is all the more surprising for the visitor because it manages to avoid all of the learned and fixed discourse that we are generally accustomed to from museums.
The Musée des Confluences is exceptional in the sense that it has set itself at the confluence of knowledge with the objective of preserving objects with a cultural value in ranges that are as diverse as culture itself. Simultaneously, the museum sets the human being squarely in the centre of each collection, exhibition and other activity organised within the amazing building.
Within this context nothing is obvious, and the viewer must get to work. What is the status of the object? What makes it an art work or a machine? Why preserve it? Of course, the exhibition uses skillful staging and massive background work, but it is all sufficiently subtle to never encroach on the territory of the objects or of the visitor. One splendid detail: a bridge lets the visitor view the exhibition from above, to understand the scenography and the way it influences our judgment.
Artist and machine, art and technology, mysticism and mechanics: a dialogue has taken place involving nothing less than the future of our planet, and it is brought to us here, at the confluence of our beliefs and our hopes, with perhaps more clarity than ever before. •
Art and the Machine at Musée des Confluences until 24 January 2016.