The machinist is among the most exacting craftsmen. It is the resourcefulness, ingenuity and skill of the machinist that creates the critical parts that allow an idea to become a reality. At the extreme confluence of precision, accuracy, invention and design, there are objects that continue to inspire these makers because they represent the finest work and the purest forms.
This exhibition will present objects that makers and enthusiasts themselves have proposed as “the ultimate machined object”. Posed as a question in 2009 to an online forum called Practical Machinist, over a period of several months, a small community debated “What is the ultimate machine object/mechanism?” They proposed their favorites in an ongoing conversation of posts and responses.
Some objects represent the primal building blocks of mechanization: the wheel, the lever, the screw. Others are examples of tremendous complication: a Linotype machine, an aircraft engine, a microprocessor. Between these extremes are seemingly humble objects that belie their sophistication but have revolutionized the world. Our global standard of living is built upon these technologies; this exhibition attempts to elucidate what is so special about these objects and why they were proposed as the ultimate machined object/mechanism.”
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