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SiteWorks: San Francisco performance 1969-85

Chevron Station at intersection of Columbus and Green Streets, now Citybank

Mark Pauline/Survival Research Laboratories , Machine Sex (31st January 1979)

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Machine Sex was done at a Chevron gas station, shortly after an OPEC price rise. I had built this de-manufacturing machine that was like a giant food processor, called The Shredder, It was made out of a big triangular shaped drum, with a plexi-gears dome over it, and a conveyer belt you can tie objects to, leading into it, So I tied on a bunch of pigeons I’d killed with a wrist rocket slingshot I made, and dressed them up in little paper Arab doll costumes. Then I activated the machine, and fed in the pigeons, where they were chopped up by a succession of very sharp blades. After that, their remains were ejected out the sides—blown out about 15 or 20 feet, so the audience got hit with globs of feathers, blood, guts, and bone. And for the soundtrack, I used that song that’s based on The Stranger by Albert Camus—you know, “I am the stranger killing an Arab.” (Pauline in Edmonson 1983)