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Artist's 'suicide' machines are designed to slowly destroy themselves

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Thijs Rijkers suicide machine
Thijs Rijkers suicide machine

It might seem like a strange artistic effort to build a piece that meant to destroy itself, but that's what Thijs Rijker did with his industrial art series titled "Suicide Machines." So far, he's built two pieces eventually designed to destroy themselves — one is a self-powered saw that eventually will cut into its own gearbox, and another pours sand into its gearbox until its gearbox wears out. Sadly for those looking to see some machine destruction, the videos Rijker put together only show the process, but the sawblades never actually get to the gearbox.

That's probably part of Rijker's point, however — he likely wants the sense of impending doom to evoke emotion rather than the actual destruction. He says his self-destruction pieces are "made to create empathy among humans without human traits." Call them "suicide machines" feels a little bit exploitive and sensationalist, but there is something hypnotic about watching these machines slowly work their way towards their eventual demise.