Monday, April 14, 2008

D+R Guest Blogger! Mark Allen!

Several months ago, I told Mark Allen I had an idea for a Machine Project special event, "The Best That I Could Do."

For two weeks, I explained, Machine Project would be open from 1-3 PM each day and would be staffed by a random individual from the Machine Project rolodex of ne'er-do-wells, dewy-eyed optimists and explorers who have fallen off the trail. Hopeful "customers" would bring in failed projects, irreversibly bad poetry, unsold screenplays, weak business plans, uninspired art, broken kitchen appliances, untenable contracts or anything else that needed a little fixing up. It would be the last stop before the trash bin. The random individual behind the counter would be the final hope for redemption.

Since it would be too onerous to publish a schedule of staffers and their respective fields of expertise, people might have their toaster repaired by a lawyer with no prior toaster experience, or a bicycle mechanic might be the one refining the numbers for your private equity deal. Whoever was there, each would do The Best That I Could Do and charge an amount of money commensurate with the success of the effort. I closed my pitch by saying, "We would need a cash register."

Mark's response, "Don't you have cash register?"

And that, ladies and gentleman, is why we love Mark Allen. Without a moment of consideration for the effort involved or the sketchiness of the idea, Mark tasked me with providing the cash register.

Existing to encourage the heroic experiments of the gracefully over-ambitious, Machine Project presents workshops, events, installations and performances on a semi-regular basis. For more information check out the mission statement.

Machine is located at 1200 D North Alvarado Street, just north of Sunset.

Mark once told me about a project he was working on and, before I could stop myself, I blurted out, "That is a terrible idea!"

Mark said, "Sometimes terrible ideas are the best ideas."

Previous Machine Project best ideas:
Meat Cloning

Psychobotany: Revolutionary Breakthroughs in Human/Plant Communication

Building (and Destroying) Rome in 24 Hours

The Los Angeles County Natural History Museum Gem Vault, Cooper Hardware, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Netsuke Exhibit, the Museum of Jurassic Technology, the National Hot Rod Association Winternationals Drag Races, the Huntington Library and Gardens, Apex Electronics and Machine Project are the most inspiring places in Los Angeles. Not in that order.