Rube Goldberg machine  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A Rube Goldberg machine, device, or apparatus is a deliberately over-engineered or overdone machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction. The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg (1883-1970).

Professional artists

  • Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Swiss artists known for their art installation movie Der Lauf der Dinge (The Way Things Go, 1987). It documents a 30 minutes long causal chain assembled of everyday objects, resembling a Rube Goldberg machine.
  • Tim Hawkinson (not to be confused with Tim Hawkins) has made several art pieces that contain complicated apparatuses that are generally used to make abstract art or music. Many of them are centered around the randomness of other devices (such as a slot machine) and are dependent on them to create some menial effect.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rube Goldberg machine" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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