The Anecdote Machine


Last weekend, I visited Leeds in order to attend a wedding. Whilst there, I stayed with an old friend from school and went out for dinner. After some aimless wandering, we ended up in a very nice Thai place, the name of which escapes me but which was notable for the fact you had to enter a lift in order to get to it. After that, we went for a couple of drinks and it was in a pub called The Reliant that I saw this:

Andy Abbott’s Mechanical Anecdote Vendor is a home-made alternative to the fruit machine, cigarette vendor and jukebox. It’s just one of the works by Leeds-based arts collective Black Dogs. The basic idea is simple – choose a theme from those listed on the front, pull the handle, read the anecdote that is delivered through the slot below and replace with one of your own.

I wish there were more things like this in the world – machines that serve no purpose other than to stimulate the imagination and share thoughts between disconnected people. Spods will undoubtedly argue that computers serve this purpose, but somehow I don’t think your average grey lump of wires and circuits is halfway as effective as this wall-mounted treasure chest of memories.


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