In 1979, machine artist Mark Pauline staged the first ever Survival Research Laboratories performance. Pictured above, the show, titled "Machine Sex," took place at a San Francisco Chevron station where dead pigeons dressed in Arab thawbs were gruesomely "processed" by the De-Manufacturing Machine, a commentary on the oil crisis of the time. Right now, Mark is restoring and reviving the De-Manufacturing Machine for a small SRL performance as part of a group exhibition titled "Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974–1981," opening next month at Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art. Mark tells me that after running the De-Manufacturing Machine on October 1, "It will sit there for 4 months after that gathering art dust at the museum." Under The Big Black Sun features a phenomenal list of California artists, including Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Lynn Hershman, John Baldessari, Bruce Conner, Edward Ruscha, Raymond Pettibon, Gary Panter, and dozens more.
* spotted in the 1979 photo above: RE/Search's V. Vale and infamous performance artist Karen Finley!
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.