“We Machines” is a live audiovisual performance score written and performed by Benton C Bainbridge, Philip R. Bonner, Jonathan Giles, Andrew Koontz, and Chad Strohmayer at Experimental Television Center in 1990. The piece is also known as “3 Machines” – so named for the 3 sections which are mechanistically determined. Since all 5 visual performers appear on camera and run all the gear in the studio, it was necessary to intercut a malfunctioning vacuum cleaner to allow time for the group to switch positions.

  • Section A (first part): Jones Sequencer audio triggered cuts between 8 live video sources
  • Section B (repeated 6 times) begins and ends with the starting and stopping of a dying shop vac
  • Section C (iterated 5 times – once each for the 5 artists) is an on-camera snack break

Bainbridge lectured on the structure of “We Machines” at Harvestworks on December 16, 2012 for Ana Carvalho’s “Composition, Notations and Score for Live Audiovisual Performance”

“We Machines” is collected on the ETC DVD box set, available from Electronic Arts Intermix

“We Machines” is in the “ETC: Experimental Television Center Archives” at Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell University Library.