The Most Beautiful Machine 2003
Trunk, prosthesis, compressor, pneumatic cylinder
13,4 x 35,4 x 35,2 in
“The Most Beautiful Machine” is an idea of Claude E. Shannon, who died in 2001. His “Mathematical Theory of Communication” is the fundament of the digital machine. It’s a communication based on the functions ON and OFF.
In this special case the observers are supposed to push the ON button. After a while the lid of the trunk opens, a hand comes out and turns off the machine. The trunk closes – that’s it!.
Haunters are an ingenious bunch. They’re always thinking of ways to make their props and decorations more realistic, elaborate, and impressive. While their efforts are no doubt scaring the pants off their victims, sometimes simpler isbetter. How often to do you hear that “gore isn’t scary” and that mood or “hinting at the monster” is what really gave someone the chills?
I stumbled upon this Hand in a Box prop, and could immediately imagine the shock of those who unwittingly pushed the red button. “…the observers are supposed to push the ON button. After a while the lid of the trunk opens, a hand comes out and turns off the machine. The trunk closes – that’s it!”. Normally I try to present project ideas that come with at least a few instructions, but this simplistic prop seemed very worthy of mention anyway. Imagine this chest sitting on a pedestal at your front door. Before knocking to get their candy, Trick-or-Treaters would invariably push the button and scream as the hand shot out and slammed the lid. I am probably far too motivated by the screams of kids, but that thought is inspiring me to try my first pneumatic prop.