Workshop 6: Rube Goldberg Machine 2/ Materials

No class has ever built a Rube-Goldberg Machine that runs from the beginning to end without stopping once. MEDA202 2017 class will be challenging for this title. We will launch our machine this year at 5.00 pm EST (UTC+10) on Tuesday 29 August.

“if ever a challenger wins…. he or she will gain the people’s ovation and fame forever.”

As well, there will also be awards for groups that built a section that:

  • takes the longest time to complete
  • provides the best visual spectacle
  • provides the best auditory spectacle
  • traverses the most vertical distance
  • has the most functional parts

Ian Burns, The Epic Tour (detail), 2005

Ian Burns, The Epic Tour (detail), 2005

In completing RGM this week for launch, we focus on materials and constructions.

  • What are some of materials you are using to build your Rube Goldberg Machine component?
  • What do you need them to do?
  • What is the most effective way of working with these materials?

In week 6’s workshop, you will have time to complete and test your component thoroughly and ensure that it is ready to go! There will be opportunities for test runs when you can make note of what parts in your component may need further work. If you feel confident that your component is all set to go and 100% predictable, you can spend some time to add flourishes to your component or help other groups.

We need 3 volunteers to do some action documentation with roving cameras.

Analysis of the RGM experience

Critically reflect on your experience in building the RGM component:

  • What the machine/ your component of the machine a success? If so, why? If not, why not?
  • What worked well? Why? What didn’t? Why?
  • Is there anything that surprised you?
  • What in particular require more time/ effort? For example, designing, thinking through, construction, testing…?
  • What is the most important thing you learnt about working with materials?
  • How do you think this experience can help you?

Together with documentation of the RGM launch or working process, please make a post onto your personal subject’s blog.


Complete Research Essay

Ian Burns, Scroll, 2016, installation view, New Romance: art and the posthuman, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, digital alarm clocks, wiring, wood, control system, Image courtesy and © the artist, Photograph: Alex Davies

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