Flagellum Machinam

Whip, motor, data visualization, custom electronics and software.

Wearable Device - Performance / 2013

Flagellum Machinam is a wearable device programmed to whip its user whenever a wifi network is present. The system detects the number of networks, the strength of their signals and names an translates these variables into the power of the whip, the frequency of it and the name of the torturer respectively.

The machine is inspred in the flagellation rituals found in various relligions and spiritual practices; fanatics that torture themselves in the name of god or their beliefs. The device acts as a metaphor that makes evident the devoted and at the same time tormentous and suffered relationship that contemporary individuals mantain with technology.

Filipino hooded penitents flagellate themselves during Maundy Thursday rituals to atone for sins on March 28, 2013, in suburban Mandaluyong, east of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Effects of the flagellation machine after Penance in Union Square, New York

Sketch of the Flagellation Machine

The system stores the information from the different networks detected during each penance payed by the wearer and stores it in a data base. This information is used to create data-visualization pieces that show the path (using GPS) of the tortured and the names of the torturers.