Another work in my ‘imagined histories’ series the Apparatus for Transtemporal Occurrence of Impending Space (ATOIS) was a 19th century invention, created to see possible futures. The machine was recently restored after a period of 80 years, having been ‘misplaced’ in Council storage, but the predictive automaton is permanently jammed on a fictional vision of Melbourne in the 1930s – as envisaged by its 19th-century inventors.

The exterior of the machine pays tribute to the steampunk genre, while the internal automata theatre, hidden inside a porthole, shows a dieselpunk ‘future’ with suspended tram cars, dirigibles and grand art deco architecture that never materialised.

More information on the work’s ‘imagined history’ can be found on the City of Melbourne website.

Client: Melbourne City Council
Location: Middle Promenade, North Wharf, Docklands
Features: Human powered electricity generator driving multiple LED/fibreoptic lights, cast sterling silver automata (internal)
Materials: Stainless steel, bronze, copper, electro-mechanical components
Completed: 2014

Images below show concept sketch for Melbourne commission