Machine Therapy

Kelly Dobson

Small-size movie (5.4MB QuickTime)

I began singing with large machines in public spaces, discovering that I could come to be in resonance with the sounds of their motors. The motor sound was experienced then as inseparable from my own voice, as like when singing in resonance with another person. I experienced a connection with these machines as if body extensions. Sometimes I felt that I was controlling the motors of these giagantic machines with my voice; sometimes I felt that they were pulling me along. They brought me through expressions physical and vocal that I would have found no other way. This experimental balancing act and communication with the machines facilitated personal exploration, discovery, and development.

I am working to bring this form of experience directly to other people. I host Machine Therapy sessions with machines I have made or found. 

This video is of one client's first session.

Sessions Ongoing

Individual or group appoinments are available. People are encouraged to bring machines that they may have issues with, as well as they are invited to work with the Machine Therapist and a machine she provides for them or finds with them. Among the machines already available for one-to-one sessions is a machine that bites itself to make sure it is still machine, a frustration machine (that can be turned off), an old, relaxing, repetitive motion mortar and pestle machine, and a blender whose motor is controlled by the growling and singing/screaming of the person using it (the blender’s motor pitch-tracks the vocalizations of the user in real time). The people participating may empathize, vocalize, move in any way with these machines, perhaps come into harmonic resonance with the machines, and thus come to find in themselves recognition of energies not otherwise accessed or consciously acknowledged. It is a body-to-body affair. In this way the machines serve as a bridge to the person’s inner life. Some of these machines are designed and made by the artist, other machines are found on the streets, on trains, planes, boats, in subways, or in other public places.