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I went to see the Rube Goldberg exhibit at San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum—or rather, I went to see "Contraption," an exhibit accompanying the Rube Goldberg exhibit. There was a Rube Goldberg exhibit, but I've read at least one book of Rube Goldberg comics, and didn't really need to see them again up on walls. But "Contraption" had a bunch of over-engineered art in the vein of Rube Goldberg devices. Like there was a crankable system of gears that turned cranking motion into sawing motion, but with a saw "blade" that was unsuitable for sawing. As if doing all the work necessary for sawing, the energy, the motion… as if you turned the "M" in SAWMILL upside-down to make SAW-WILL, the intent and action of sawing with no actual sawing taking place… Anyhow, I liked the exhibit.

(Also there was an installation by Kutiman, that guy who makes YouTube music videos by smooshing together lots and lots of other YouTube music videos. This was an experience he couldn't deliver via YouTube—more than a dozen speakers arranged in a ring around the listener… but I'm pretty lazy and couldn't help but think "this experience is different from me sitting around at home watching Youtube videos and it turns out that the experience of sitting around at home watching Youtube videos is more comfy and has better snacks.")

Tags: art comic mad science

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