Novelty Automation





Having time to kill this morning in Holborn, I thought I'd have a mooch around and by doing so I chanced upon an odd-looking shop. I quickly locked up my bike and doubled back not quite believing my eyes. And yes, lo and behold, here was a shop containing hand-made automatons. Not the usual thing you would expect to see in this area at all. The machines are quite large, (due to the fact that you can physically engage with them) and can be operated by buying tokens. I couldn't bring myself to use them on my own but I'm definitely going to go back with Slim Jenkins (just one of Robin's alter-egos) to check it all out, and soon.

Are these machines art? Are they trying to be? I don't know... but they are very close if not. In fact, one of them, ironically, is dedicated to finding out if the object you insert into its hole gets the thumbs up or down as to whether it is art or not. Well I'd better get my work checked if that's case, eh readers?


There are automatons for Money Laundering, Micro-breaks, Divorce, Chiropody, Instant Weightloss and one entitled Pet or Meat, complete with a swingometer and a moving lamb perched on the top, amongst others. They all have an anarchic, humorous and irreverent element to them which makes it all the more amusing. Also, they have an obviously hand-made finish which lends them a definite charm.


I would recommend going but not on your own, this is something to enjoy within a small group.

It's free to get in and the machines cost 1-2 quid to play.
Open Wednesday 11am - 6pm
          Thursday 11am - 7pm
          Friday 11am - 6pm
          Saturday 11am - 6pm

1a Princeton St,
London
WC1R 4AX

More info here



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