The Writer

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Doll's face

The Writer features an automaton built by Pierre Jacquet-Droz in the 18th century, a machine that some consider to be the oldest example of the computer. The automaton has an input device, which allowed it to be programmed with the sentence ‘What do you believe, your eyes or my words?’ The automaton holds a feather pen, dips it in an ink well, writes, follows what it writes with its eyes, all the while we hear the metallic noises of its internal mechanisms at work. It appears strangely human and robotic at the same time. This machine-marionette has no consciousness or infinite consciousness. The sentence is left unfinished.

 

Colour, sound