Erica Marx


by for .  

One at a time, people add to create a moving, noise-making machine. 



physical experience w/out words of yes, and
experience risk taking and supporting it with the group
co-creation of group experience


1. Start with one student making a noise and a simple repeatable gesture.

2. When the student has a rhythm and another student has an idea for a movement which connects to the first gesture that student joins the first student by making a new noise and movement which connects to the original gesture.

3. Each student joins in with a new noise and gesture and connects to the others in some way until all students are involved in creating the machine.


• Participants may be hesitant to try this exercise because of the significant social risk associated with expressing simplistic sounds and gestures over and over. It can be helpful to cue, "Notice if you' re hesitating, and ask yourself what that's about. There will be an opportunity to discuss this later." 

• Remind participants to think about using levels of space,

Instruct to speed up or slow down the machine


– What did you imagine the machine you created was?

– What was your part in making it?

– How could we make the machine batter?

– Was it difficult to keep your concentration until everyone was creating the machine?


Machine of ...
Explain that this is going to be "The Machine of ..." and choose an abstract word like "love" or "despair" or "peace." Ask the first volunteer to make a repeatable sound and gesture that relates to the abstract image or word you' ve given, for instance, the word "despair" may elicit a groan and a collapsing of the head and spine. Encourage the volunteer to move to action without overthinking there are no wrong sounds or gestures.

This can be repeated several times using different abstract images. It may be helpful to say, "Don't think too much. Your body probably understands the image better than your brain." The Image Machine can help concretize abstract ideas since participants are asked to confront and discuss different interpretations of the same image.

Adapted from Augusto Boal's (1992) The Machine of Rhythms.


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