What is a good system? We are all in this together! Selfie Automaton, an exhibition for the Romanian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, utilized an automated puppet show to raise the question: “can we—designers—mock ourselves? Can we imagine a less idyllic selfie?”
The exhibit contains seven “mechanical automata” with forty-six built-in characters assembled in various locations for the show. What interested me most is that these wooden marionettes have been removed from their strings, which typically give them the “freedom of movement,” at the same time, they are not as free as they seem to be because and each of them is nailed to various mechanisms that only allow for one repetitive gesture.
According to the exhibition team in a press release, “we tried to raise questions about the character, the position, and the role of the individual (including the architect), in what is generally and superficially called the system.” What we learn from the interaction with the puppets is an epitome of the society. At the show, we were given a dual role as guests and puppets. Then we could use pedals and handles to move the puppets and perform various shows. As the puppets moved, the objects began to share relationships with not only one another but also with visitors controlling them. We all are part of the “invisible hand” to manipulate the outcome.
到底有沒有一個完美的系統設計，讓社會大眾都能皆大歡喜呢？這次在威尼斯建築雙年展羅馬尼亞的國家展場得到了一個小啟示。乍看之下好像是進到馬戲團裡魔術表演場景，實際上是羅馬尼亞建築師和希臘木偶師傅所裝置的「自拍圈套」， 讓觀眾可以親身體驗一下人類社會系統的縮影和自我角色扮演的重要。 不同表情，個性的機械木偶，雖然不受繩索的控制，但是一旦觀眾從旁觀者的角色轉變成實際操弄者， 開始“動手動腳”，整個機械裝置的運轉就像隱形的系統操作，每個人的命運好像無可避免地聯結在一起了！世事總無法盡如人意－有人開心，就有人難過，有人怨天尤人，有人憤恨不平，有人卻也自得其樂…