h a l f b a k e r y
Contrary to popular belief
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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
sticks, each of which has a different
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
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
adjoining room that is separated from
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
in the adjacent room, that the non-
professional models cannot see. They
wear identical clothes, but their world
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.
mechanical figures will mime and copy
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
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
resumes with new clothes, new furniture,
strange new props to be constructed.
new pointless tasks to be performed and
copied in turn by the android manikins or
is it the other way around?
Similar vein, same author. Good stuff.
The man likes his manikins! [daseva, Jan 19 2007]
||Don't eat cheese before you go to bed.
||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.
||Alas it's true, things could occasionally go
"wrong", but happily all entanglements,
their chaotic results, would be replicated
both sides of the central partition.
||Wierd idea. Bun for the title.
||//but happily all entanglements, and their chaotic results, would be replicated on both sides of the central partition.//
||//Quantum entaglements?// - nope -
String Theory !
||Having only seen manikin spelled Mannequin, I read this the first time through as mankinis.
Wrote a little thong about it.
||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
||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.
||//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
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
the clothes, or the mechanical droids
who have perfect features, but just
don't look real because of their blank
features and perfect gaits.
||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.
||Ah, but when person raises hand: mannequin lowers hand!
||the linkages and pulleys take care of
||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?// Yes there is
[Ling]. If you think about it the other
way round, I'm sure you will figure it
||I'm trying to give you a fishbone, but I keep getting confused and you keep getting a bun.
||[xenzag], yes, I'm sure. The confusing part comes from who is copying who. Aren't the strings working both at once?
||I think you've finally understood it [Ling]
||As I understand it: if not understanding it is understanding it, then I suppose I understand it. If you understand what I mean.