November 2007, Chantier Public, Lyon, France
How complicated can a machine be to cook simple foods?
Inspired by the french cuisine I wanted to explore new ways to cook simple dishes. My idea was creating a machine to produce "les oeufs au plat / egg sunny-side up". Nowadays machines around us replace a lot of manual work but we often do not understand the details of their function. My machine´s moving parts are clearly visible but difficult to adjust. A person was integrated in the process to include a human factor (someone needed to crush the egg).
Looking backwards the performance raises a couple of questions, I was not aware of in the beginning.
How much are we used to have 100% working machines in our daily life? Obviously my machine was not engineered from precise parts, but put together with spare wood and lots of tape and glue. What was the audience expectation in this performance?
It took one hour to successfully complete the parcours the first fried egg. The 60 visitors of the exhibition were observing the poor artist and the un-perfect machine in silence. I asked if anybody could help to adjust and improve the machine, but nobody wanted to assist me. Did the audience imagine that they were also part of the performance?
Would the performance have been more interesting if the machine worked without any stops?
Is the artists' authority damaged if someone assists?
Each "failure", every time the machine stopped, there was an occasion that someone could have joined to "repair" the machine with me.
Les oeufs au plat II , Paris