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The Alchymical Analyser (1998)

The Alchymical Analyser is a relay-relay logic implementation of a finite state machine, that models the Aristotelian alchemical system. By entering and operating on two of the four material qualities (Cold, Hot, Humid and Dry) via the rotary dial, the machine computes and displays the corresponding element (Air, Water, Earth and Fire). The machine is intended to function as an instructional art object, illustrating the fundamentals of computing technology. Through use of the machine, the user is presented with a non-intuitive interface that invites experimentation in order to determine the nature of its operation. Through this process, a sense of the logical architecture behind the computations as well as their relationship to the physical architecture of the machine itself is gained. The tactile, visual and aural components of using the machine make sensous the oft-mysterious calculations that take place behind the scenes of our daily life.

Illustration of Theoretical Computing Concepts via Instructional Art Objects (PDF)

Wiring Diagram (PDF)

The Alchymical Emulator (Flash Movie)