Survival Research Laboratories, the legendary machine performance project that started it all, turns 30 today. Founder Mark Pauline has a blog post up about this milestone, with a copy of SRL's first-ever ad, above. Mark says,
Id like to thank all those who have helped me make SRL what it is, both voluntarily and involuntarily. Im still having a blast. Even moving all 160 tons of my stuff to the new shop in Petaluma has been kind of fun. In a few more weeks, Ill be totally out of here and SRL will lurch into the next 30 year chapter. 2038 here we come!
A huge congrats and deepest respect to Mark, the SRL team, and their respective family members — the meat-based kind, but also the magical metal machines who are the real stars of SRL. On behalf of all Boingdom, we wish all of you another 30 years of happy mutancy.
For BoingBoing readers not familiar with SRL, here's how they describe what they do:
Survival Research Laboratories was conceived of and founded by Mark Pauline in November 1978. Since its inception SRL has operated as an organization of creative technicians dedicated to re-directing the techniques, tools, and tenets of industry, science, and the military away from their typical manifestations in practicality, product or warfare. Since 1979, SRL has staged over 45 mechanized presentations in the United States and Europe. Each performance consists of a unique set of ritualized interactions between machines, robots, and special effects devices, employed in developing themes of socio-political satire. Humans are present only as audience or operators.
Below, an early photograph featuring Mark Pauline with one of his first creations. Performance artist Karen Finley and V. Vale of RE/Search Publications are among the bemused onlookers. (thanks, K0re!)