Not how to make an Air Cannon, 2005

Air Cannon, 2005
PVC pipe, solenoid valve, aluminium, threaded steel rod, vice grip, clamps, car tube valve, air compressor, enamel paint, steel, power inverter, petrol generator.

2 channel video
UWR/BOT ( in assembly mode), from ‘Not how to make an Air cannon’, 2005
digital video, 3:48min

UWR/BOT ( in David Hicks mode), from ‘Not how to make an Air cannon’, 2005
digital video, 2:29 min




The project began when I found an online document called "Not how to make an Air Cannon", and the author explained it was called "Not how to…" because if it was a "how to" he could be arrested for publishing plans to built a firearm.

The project included a 2 channel video work and an Air Cannon I made loosely following the plans in the found document.

UWR/BOT , assembly mode, involves a character sitting at a table, being filmed from a surveillance camera angle. The character is assembling an Air cannon. All the parts are laid out in front of him. It resembles footage of soldiers training to disassemble and reassemble their rifles in quick time.

UWR/BOT , David hicks mode, sees a character who is posed to imitate the infamous photograph of David Hicks which was used to portray him as a terrorist. The character revolves on a spinning chair, stopping and aiming, indiscriminately, the weapon on his shoulder.

The roboticized characters relentlessly assemble and indiscriminately aim a homemade air cannon. They are ‘becoming machines’. In a becoming, how is one relating to their will. It brings into question who is in control. Is this is a defeated dehumanized worker who no longer has a will of their own or could it be the opposite, is it about them releasing themselves to an internal program which is relentless, that carries out its mission without distraction or doubt or hesitation. As uncle bob would say, ‘The battle is for control’. He would say that I was ‘expressing rage and violence in a precision engineered way, to slow it down, to learn how to manage the power, to store it up and then use it to take over everything and everyone. And you will all be sorry’.