The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts

Virtual | The Machine Stops (or Inkjet My Foot!)

Helene Baribeau, Define Machine, 2008
Michael Barnes, Preparing for the Worst [detail], 2007
Thomas Christison, Previously Frozen, 2008
John Driesbach, Overall, She Floats, 2008

October 10, 2020 – October 23, 2021

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E.M. Forster’s 1909 dystopic short story The Machine Stops depicts a civilization forced to live underground and in isolation, having plundered and exploited the Earth’s natural resources. Technology, or “the Machine” as it is known in the story, becomes the lifeline for this civilization, fulfilling people’s physical and spiritual needs. Ultimately, the Machine becomes so powerful that it self-destructs, ironically destroying the civilization that created it.

Inspired by Forster’s tale, artists Andrew Polk and Kathryn Polk organized this limited edition print portfolio in 2008. The 25 artists in this exhibition interrogate the concept of progress in an increasingly technological world. We invite you to reconsider Forster’s story and these images in light of the year 2020. “How we have advanced, thanks to the Machine!”


Kimberly Paul Arp | Helene Baribeau | Michael Barnes | Daniel Britton | Tom Christison | Alastair Clark | Clinton Cline | Danielle Creenaune | Paul J. Croft | Emily Arthur Douglass | John Driesbach | Kevin Hass | Brian Kelly | Wayne Kimball | Judy Macklin | Huey Peckerhead (William Greider) | Richard Peterson | Sheila Pitt | Andrew Polk | Kathryn Polk | Kent Rush | Linda K. Seckinger | Satoshi Takahira | Cerese Vaden | Melanie Yazzie


Images: Helene Baribeau, Define Machine, 2008 | Michael Barnes, Preparing for the Worst [detail], 2007 | Thomas Christison, Previously Frozen, 2008 | John Driesbach, Overall, She Floats, 2008 * Museum purchases with funds provided by the Edward J. Gallagher, Jr. Memorial Fund