The Godot Machine is a device which monitors and prevents the movement of a single ant.
An ant sits atop a white globe, monitored from above by a camera. As the ant moves forwards, the sphere rotates backwards. As the ant moves left, the sphere moves right. No matter which direction the ant moves in, the sphere will always return the ant to the top. The ant will always remain on top of her world.
As ants use pheromone trails to communicate and find food, a well-fed ant should start laying a pheromone trail. Once she reaches her original starting point, she may choose to follow her trail. The more she follows the trail, the more she strengthens it, and thus the more attractive it becomes…
The Godot Machine is the first part of the Ant Ballet project, a multi-year investigation featuring control systems, paranoia and insects.
More information about this project can be found in Chapter 1 of my PhD thesis.
- Snacks Magazine, 2010