photo: Jordan Ellis
Peter Flemming - Montréal, Canada
Fight or fight, 2013
41 - Roy Thomson Hall pond, 219 King Street West
[ photographs ] [ video ]
Can machines fight for what they want? Are water and electricity really such a bad mix? Fight or fight
is a kinetic artwork that responds to these questions. The mechanical performers of Fight or fight are
imbued with a desire to compete. Above all, they desire the prize.
In an automated tug of war played out in the arena of the artificial pond outside of Roy Thomson Hall,
animated fishing rods battle over their quarry. The ‘fish' is a driver-less full size canoe, pulled
helplessly to and fro by its pursuers. The hunters are patient, moving slowly, almost leisurely, biding
their time... for the right moment... until their prey, exhausted, submits.
The rules of this game are indeterminate, yet these mechanized competitors stubbornly insist on playing
simply because they know no other way. It is not altogether clear who wins, how or when, or whether there
can even be a victor.
Peter Flemming is a folk machinery artist who creates electronics handcrafted ‘by ear.’ Recent
works are situational kinetic sound installations about resonance, with electromagnetically activated
materials, mechanical performers and makeshift amplification devices. Past work has included solar powered
lazy machines and hypnotically repetitive automata. He has exhibited extensively internationally and
been the recipient of numerous grants, awards and residencies. Currently he lives and works in Montréal.