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The Steam Powered Internet Machine

Kane, Alan and Deller, Jeremy (2007) The Steam Powered Internet Machine. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Kane, Alan and Deller, Jeremy

Victoria Pomery, Director of Turner Contemporary in Margate, Kent, commissioned this new sculpture, and worked with Jeremy Deller and myself to develop a tour of offsite venues in east Kent during the summer of 2006. Venues included the Kent County Show, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital Annual Summer Fete, and Chatham Historic Dockyards.

I conceived the piece in conversation with Jeremy Deller and worked closely with skilled craftsmen and engineers to acquire and restore a steam engine (designed to power a steam powered launch) and adapt it to produce electricity to power a desktop computer with a wireless Internet connection. The resulting machine was then made available to the public for internet access.

This work and its form of presentation were developed to extend my investigations into the field of social sculpture - where situations and relationships between artist, audience, institution, steam engineers and websites accessed all come together to create the work. I was also concerned in this work (as with other projects such as Folk Archive and The Greasy Pole) to extend the range of audiences and locations for art.

As an object the work made a formal and physical connection between the engines of the Industrial and those of the Digital Revolution – crossing significances from different periods in social history.

The Steam Powered Internet Machine was accompanied by a 13 page publication produced by Turner Contemporary which was distributed free to visitors. This publication (aimed at adults and children) explained the work in context of previous artworks and the shared histories of steam and digital technologies.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
Date: 28 June 2007
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent, U.K.June 2007UNSPECIFIED
Kent County Show2007UNSPECIFIED
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital Annual Summer Fete. Margate, Kent2007UNSPECIFIED
Chatham Historic Dockyards, Kent, U.K.2007UNSPECIFIED
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 23:38
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2010 14:29
Item ID: 1472
URI: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472

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