This weekend (20-21 September 2013) the garden of V&A Museum will be transformed into a large computing device by Ollie Palmer – and a troupe of “human-computers”.
In 1948 Alan Turing designed the first chess computer programme.
The only problem was that he didn’t have a computer to play it on.
He wrote all of the instructions onto pieces of paper, and played a game of chess as if he were the computer himself. Each move took over half an hour. What’s more, his human-powered computer programme didn’t win the game.
Nybble takes Turing’s human computer and combines it with a sense of theatricality in an immersive architectural-scale installation. Four performers, each representing a different part of a computing CPU, will be parsing a message into the V&A’s John Madjeski Garden. The display is playful, silly and fun – and possibly the most analogue computer to have graced the V&A’s Digital Design Weekend.
John Madjeski Garden, V&A Museum 21-22 September 2013 12.00, 14.00 and 16.00 daily (performances last 45 minutes) Admission free
Installed in Victoria Park for the duration of the Olympics, the Universal Tea Machine is a computer that relies on teamwork and calculation to produce the perfect cup of tea. The Heath-Robinson-esque machine enables the audience to make their ‘perfect’ cup of tea by solving binary calculation maths problems. If their calculation is too high, they might get too many teabags; not high enough, and they may not get a teabag at all.
I designed and fabricated the mechanisms and electronics that enable tea to get made: the ‘kitchen’ unit. Here’s a short video showing the mechanisms in action: