The Godot Machine

The Godot Machine

Ollie Palmer

UK, 2010-11

The Godot Machine is a device which monitors and prevents the movement of a single ant.An ant sits atop a white globe, monitored from above by a camera. As the ant moves forwards, the sphere rotates backwards. As the ant moves left, the sphere moves right. No matter which direction the ant moves in, the sphere will always return the ant to the top. The ant will always remain on top of her world.As ants use pheromone trails to communicate and find food, a well-fed ant should start laying a pheromone trail. Once she reaches her original starting point, she may choose to follow her trail. The more she follows the trail, the more she strengthens it, and thus the more attractive it becomes…

The Godot Machine is the first part of the Ant Ballet project, a two-year investigation featuring control systems, paranoia and insects.

Ollie Palmer is a multi disciplinary designer, whose work includes graphics, interaction, motion graphics, product design and engineering. He has presented at institutions such as Goldmiths University, the Zoological Society, Nottingham Contemporary and Chelsea School of Art, and run workshops at numerous institutions including the University of Plymouth, CCCB Barcelona, and London Zoo. He is a member of the Interactive Architecture Workshop at the Bartlett School of Architecture and a Getty Images contributing photographer.



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