At art school we had this morning once a week where we had to watch different video works for about 4 hours. I liked it, although i always thought that i should hate it just for the reason that the teacher was making absolutely no effort other than introducing every artist with a few words and activating the light switch and videoplayer. I mean, just out of principle you should not like classes by teachers that make zero effort and put no creativity in what they are doing, no? On the other hand i remember quite a lot of really cool and inspiring stuff from these mornings, like "The way things go" ("Der Lauf der Dinge") from the swiss artist duo Fischli/Weiss. The 30 minutes video is showing a chain reaction of all kinds of bottles, balls, things set on fire, falling pieces of wood and it just goes on and on and on, like domino pieces except that every new element is surprising and interesting. The whole thing is one shot without any cut and i always wondered how many times they had to set up everything and start anew till everything fell exactly into the right spot at the right time. Here is a short part from the work:
Fischli/Weiss got inspired by Rube Goldberg, who was a cartoonist and an inventor of all sorts of crazy things. Search for his cartoons, it will make you smile and if you have kids, they will surely love it. Like "How to get rid of a mouse" (click on the bolded title to see, it's one of my favorites...)
Numerous videos and works inspired by Goldberg have been made since. There is the band OK Go, which did this video:
and there is Melvin the Machine that was presented at the Dutch design week 2010:
and there is smaller productions like "The Page Turner" by Joseph Herscher:
All these machines are the perfection of creativity. If my son will ever tell me "ima, i want to have an automatic teeth brushing machine" i will tell him: "Deal, let's rent a garage and build one!"