Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Shop Windows of Unpredictable, Reciprocated Duality

What’s going on in there?
  (+19, -3)(+19, -3)
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Real people are hired to spend a day in a shop window, as stand in manikins. They are definitely non-model types, with imperfect bodies, very ordinary facial features, posture and mannerisms.

They can slouch around, make coffee and sandwiches, play cards, but once an hour they have to spend ten minutes performing a series of meaningless actions, using a range of props that they have made up, as per a set of detailed instructions - like: climbing up and down step ladders for no reason: stirring buckets of coloured liquids with a range of sticks, each of which has a different doll’s head attached to one end: taking a radio apart, and wrapping up the individual pieces with cellotape and hair.

Each person will have a set of strings that have been fastened to their arms and legs and other parts of their body. These strings ascend vertically towards a series of pulleys in the ceiling. The strings then horizontally cross the ceiling and enter an adjoining room that is separated from our human manikins by a vertical wall, which butts unto the main window. On the outside of this window is a busy street.

While all of this is going on there will be another set of motorised android models, in the adjacent room, that the non- professional models cannot see. They will wear identical clothes, but their world will be devoid of any colour as everything is painted white. Strings will also ascend from these manikins, to be connected via a similar arrangement of pulleys to the real people in the adjoining room.

The mechanical figures will mime and copy the exact actions of the real people, but with an obviously jerky and badly executed mimicry. When the live figures are at rest, their mirror manikins are at rest. When the live figures are performing their strange actions, the manikins do likewise.

At night a curtain will descend, to be raised the next day, when the performance resumes with new clothes, new furniture, strange new props to be constructed. and new pointless tasks to be performed and copied in turn by the android manikins or is it the other way around?

xenzag, Jan 18 2007

Similar vein, same author. Good stuff. Running_20Man_20_2f_20Following_20Man
The man likes his manikins! [daseva, Jan 19 2007]

[link]






       Don't eat cheese before you go to bed.
hippo, Jan 19 2007
  

       It does have a dreamlike quality about it doesn't it?   

       I can't help wondering how they'll get new clothes onto the people/mannikins with all those bits of string leading off anywhere. A surefire recipie for entanglement if ever I heard one.
zen_tom, Jan 19 2007
  

       Alas it's true, things could occasionally go "wrong", but happily all entanglements, and their chaotic results, would be replicated on both sides of the central partition.
xenzag, Jan 19 2007
  

       Wierd idea. Bun for the title.
MoreCowbell, Jan 19 2007
  

       //but happily all entanglements, and their chaotic results, would be replicated on both sides of the central partition.//   

       Quantum entaglements?
webfishrune, Jan 19 2007
  

       //Quantum entaglements?// - nope - String Theory !
xenzag, Jan 19 2007
  

       Having only seen manikin spelled Mannequin, I read this the first time through as mankinis.
Wrote a little thong about it.
  

       I'll spare you.   

       Trippy. I like it.
david_scothern, Jan 19 2007
  

       I'm also thinking of another version where the room containing the mechanical figures is filled with water, and inahabited by large brightly coloured fish, which swim around lazily and gaze out at the inlookers.
xenzag, Jan 19 2007
  

       Bring it.
wagster, Jan 19 2007
  

       Where?
methinksnot, Jan 19 2007
  

       Will the mannequins be better looking and display better posture? Will the mannequins be ideal uber-models compared to their mensch marionetters?   

       As an art installation, I think there would be more humor and insight if there was a significant visual disparity between the two physical models in terms of their general attractiveness which would then be accentuated by the voids described in the environmental set differences.
jurist, Jan 20 2007
  

       //Will the mannequins be better looking and display better posture?// - that's the general idea.   

       I'm also thinking of a catwalk version for a fashion show, with the imperfect, self conscious shuffling and awkward gaits of the real people being closely matched by the perfect movements of their linked android equivalents on the other side of a central dividing wall...   

       The audience can then choose whom to watch - Real people, who may not enhance the clothes, or the mechanical droids who have perfect features, but just don't look real because of their blank features and perfect gaits.
xenzag, Jan 20 2007
  

       I could also imagine a totally separate set of strings attached to the original human models disappearing into the darkened heavens above the set, ala *deus ex machina*, leaving the audience to ponder who is ultimately pulling the strings.
jurist, Jan 20 2007
  

       Ah, but when person raises hand: mannequin lowers hand!
Ling, Jan 20 2007
  

       the linkages and pulleys take care of that
xenzag, Jan 20 2007
  

       OK, a string goes from one hand up to a lever which is pivoted at the divide of the rooms, at the top of the ceiling. Pull hand down: lever pulls down; other end of lever, above other room, lifts up.   

       Other end of lever has string going up and around a pulley, then down to mannequin. So as it lifts up, mannequin hand goes down.   

       On top of that, the pivot point must track forwards and backwards along the divider between rooms, and somehow left and right, to take care of person moving around.   

       Is there another way?
Ling, Jan 20 2007
  

       //Is there another way?// Yes there is [Ling]. If you think about it the other way round, I'm sure you will figure it out.
xenzag, Jan 20 2007
  

       I'm trying to give you a fishbone, but I keep getting confused and you keep getting a bun.
lurch, Jan 20 2007
  

       [xenzag], yes, I'm sure. The confusing part comes from who is copying who. Aren't the strings working both at once?
Ling, Jan 21 2007
  

       I think you've finally understood it [Ling]
xenzag, Jan 21 2007
  

       As I understand it: if not understanding it is understanding it, then I suppose I understand it. If you understand what I mean.
Ling, Jan 21 2007
  
      
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