machinaloci space invasion!

Artist collective Bossman* and artist Hella Gerlach invade machinaloci space with Table Service!

     Sunday August 8, 2021, 3:00 to 6:00
public conversation between Bossman’s sasha rossman and machinaloci’s Carol Mancke, moderated by John Kamp:
   Saturday August 21, 2021, 10:00 to 12:00

About Table Service

On your plate:
What could be less remarkable than eating a meal on a plate while seated at a table? Yet both plates and tables have a history that belies their current ubiquity. It was during the so-called Renaissance that plates, as we know them today, came into common use in Europe. It was even later that the dining room – and dining table – emerged as a specialized site for eating with a small group of friends and family. Prior to that, most eating was done on tables that could be set up and then dismantled after a meal. This flexibility was important because most rooms in a home served multiple functions. Large dining areas, for example, were also used for dancing and other ways of assembling not related to eating. It was therefore important to have furniture that could be easily whisked in and out of the way: tables could be assembled and taken apart, and benches could be moved quickly the side of the room so they would not be in the way. Chairs were an unnecessary encumbrance. The flexible nature of these spaces, and the diverse array of classed bodies within them, found a material and metaphorical iteration in the objects that people ate from: communal troughs or trenchers and spoons that dripped as diners reached into shared bowls and pots. Juices flowed and dribbled; bodies conjoined in the consumption of liquidy, stewy sauces and potages.

By the sixteenth century, these practices had begun to change. Communal dining platters were replaced by individual plates with clearly demarcated borders. In the late seventeenth century, forks would come into general usage. These objects pierced pieces of food and lifted them cleanly out of a sauce or soup, minimizing shared trickle. Plates reflected a new interest in clearly defining bodies: instead of overflowing into one’s neighbor’s space, each individual at the table had a delineated individual zone. This space was embodied by the round plate, which mirrored the “rational” head of the person at the table. It was like a symbolic portrait of that person. The table’s top separated the head, removing the rational, thinking part of the body from its base, which was hidden under the table. The polite diner was no longer corporeally linked to others at the table. Instead, manners and etiquette bound the diners together through an internalized set of rulesDon’t belch, don’t drip, don’t spit, don’t reach into the pot with your piece of bread. Use your head! Use a fork, not your fingers!

For machinaloci space, Bossman stages a pop-up featuring Carol Mancke’s Table 15 and a series of plates that Bossman is producing for the occasion. Each plate displays a cat licking its private parts. These preening pussies are what would be revealed after a diner has licked their plate clean. A frisson of naughty voyeuristic delight flickers into view. The cats are derived from medieval manuscript marginalia, which frequently featured felines cleaning themselves. These kitties, once hidden in flurries of border ornamentation, have now crawled out of the margins and taken center-stage, hanging on the wall like portraits in a gallery.

Meanwhile, a soft body lurks under the table. Artist Hella Gerlach has designed a tentacled creeper, which wraps through the Table 15’s perforated armature. Its entangled limbs ooze out from under the tabletop, threatening to ensnare those who approach. The multicolored, stitched-together body parts are reminiscent of the unruly floppy communal corpus that previously dripped and dribbled around shared troughs. A body banished by the tyranny of tedious decorum has returned. Its ghost now says, “Surprise! I’m back, and for sale.”

*Bossman is a parasitic brand that inhabits other vessels. It is a surprise gift for the world, irreverently, irately, and intuitively resisting adulting in cities starting with the letter “B”.
For further info contact

American as a Second Language

Kasia Krzykawska

30 January – 31 March 2021

2021 marks 400 years since the first Thanksgiving meal, 100 years since the artist Joseph Beuys’ birth, and nearly 50 years since his 1974 performance I like America, and America Likes Me. The events of the last few weeks serve as a forceful reminder of the danger inherent in any singular story of what it means to be American, and how important it is to listen to and fully value all voices and histories. Kasia Krzykawska’s questioning of national myth-making in American as a Second Language could not be timelier!
This is a COVID safe artwork intended to be viewed from outdoors, outside machinaloci space. The artist will be present in person and virtually to launch the project on January 30th. Please come to look at the work and add your comments any time!
‘[T]he America encountered by these yearning souls was no visible saint but an invisible, ever-receding, unloving god.’ (Puritan Conversion Narrative 134)

When, as a recent immigrant to the US, Krzykawska was assigned a story of Thanksgiving to read for her English language class, she was intrigued by the coexistence of contradictory narratives around Thanksgiving. This led her to research the relationship between rituals of national glorification and enduring silence about genocide in the commemoration of Thanksgiving. She writes:

It seems that beautiful lies are more useful for maintaining the fluidity of national traditions than truth is. In this I find a surprising similarity to my homeland, Poland. Like the monuments toppling here in the US, national mythologies are slowly falling apart there.
In American as a Second Language, I address Thanksgiving’s dilemmas by alluding to Joseph Beuys’ 1974 performance I Like America, and America Likes Me, in which he locked himself in a cell with a live coyote, an indigenous animal, to “discuss” troubling American politics. I also refer to one of the first American monuments to make my own Plymouth Rock – an ironic memorial to my own arrival exactly 400 years after the Pilgrims.

Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday during the Civil War in 1863 – something to draw the nation together. On January 18 2021, The [PAST] President’s Advisory 1776 Commission released The 1776 Report. In the conclusion it said:

‘To be an American means something noble and good. It means treasuring freedom and embracing the vitality of self-government. We are shaped by the beauty, bounty, and wildness of our continent. We are united by the glory of our history. And we are distinguished by the American virtues of openness, honesty, optimism, determination, generosity, confidence, kindness, hard work, courage, and hope. Our principles did not create these virtues, but they laid the groundwork for them to grow and spread and forge America into the most just and glorious country in all of human history.

On January 20 2021, the 1776 Report was no longer available on line. Here are a few words from President Biden’s inaugural speech:

 ‘Will we rise to the occasion, is the question? Will we master this rare and difficult hour? Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world to our children? I believe we must. I’m sure you do as well. I believe we will. And when we do, we’ll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America. The American story. A story that might sound something like a song that means a lot to me. It’s called American Anthem. There’s one verse that stands out, at least for me, and it goes like this:     

The work and prayers of a century have brought us to this day.
What shall be our legacy? What will our children say?
 Let me know in my heart when my days are through.
 America, America, I gave my best to you.

 Let’s add. Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great nation. If we do this, then when our days are through, our children and our children’s children will say of us: They gave their best, they did their duty, they healed a broken land.

and the beat goes on…? 

Krzykawska treats the shopfront window of machinaloci space as a sketchbook for quotes and thoughts that she gathered while adapting to a new land, new histories, and new cultural codes. The glass is big enough to host more than her impressions. Krzykawska invites you to discuss and share your thoughts within the fragile public space of The Window Project @ machinaloci space.

machinaloci space 1721 63rd Street, Berkeley, California 94703

The Window Project @ machinaloci space 2020 LIFE IS A TREASURE by Adrian Arias

Adrian Arias is a multidisciplinary artist who in times of pandemic and social revolution decided to recreate his visual language by getting closer to petroglyphs, African and pre-Columbian textile design, combining the appearance of the new monsters that populate our mind in pandemic, with the new angels of revolution and social change emerging in our communities.

Adrian Arias, continuously evolves images, colors, and feelings framed by the urge of creation itself. An inventive visual artist of infinite forms and mediums. Nina Serrano, poet and activist at KPFA Radio in Berkeley

Adrian Arias, the ever brilliantly inventive poet of the gesturing Word. – Jack Hirschman, Poet Laureate of San Francisco

The Window Project @ machinaloci space 2019 COMMON WEALTH by Nicole Vinokur

November 8 2019 – August 2020

opening event: Thursday, November 7 2019 7:00-9:00 PM

conversation with the artist: Saturday, November 9 2019 2:30-4:30 PM

closing  event: dutch-door conversation with the artist: Sunday, August 16 2020 10:00 am – 12:00 noon

Vinokur’s writes about Common Wealth:

I am defined by plants, some more so than others… and the garden is a place I return to over and over again.

Growing up in South Africa, focus was specifically drawn to indigenous plants- where they could be found, what their names were and how to best get them to grow. On every visit to the bush my mother would collect cuttings.

Flowers are minted into our money –  tiny traveling Proteas.

Jan Smuts was a botanist. During Apartheid, the government deployed botany and particularly flowers, as propaganda tools. With sanctions imposed on almost everything, flowers could represent South Africa on the world stage at international flower shows and in botanical gardens.

Botanical gardens are predominantly framed as being beneficial to the environment and society. Historically they have been concerned with economic botany and taxonomy, and were also established as key infrastructure of European colonialism and imperialism. Little has been done to address this in the postcolonial era.

Flowers talk.

Plant Blindness’ is a form of cognitive bias that refers to the inability to notice or recognise the plants in one’s own environment. The term was coined in 1998 by the Botanical Society of America.

Mesembryanthemums (meaning: noon flowering) or ice plants are a large family of flowering succulents native to South Africa. The Ice plant, Carpobrotus Edulis was introduced to California in the early 1900’s as an erosion stabilisation tool. Contrary to this, the ice plant establishes itself by forming a large thick mat that chokes out all other native species and alters the soil composition of the environment

Collector’s ethics.

California’s native Purple Sage is a coastal species which requires no watering and is good for soil erosion.

In 2001 special agents for the US Fish and Wildlife Service carried out a covert investigation into the international smuggling of cycads from South Africa to the US. In a sting operation dubbed ‘Operation Botany’ two plant traffickers were apprehended for the illegal shipment of over $800 000 worth of these rare plants to San Francisco Airport. The ambiguity of the case resulted in light sentences for the men and government lawyers were forced to acknowledge that it was difficult to get stiff sentences for those who commit crimes against the environment.

In 1967 Everett Dirksen made an argument for designating the “native” marigold as the official emblem for the United States, nominating it for being national in character and symbolic of the pioneering spirit. The marigold is indigenous to Mexico, following a period of cultivation and naturalisation in Europe it was introduced to America in the 1700’s. Instead, the rose took the crown.

London-based Nicole Vinokur’s drawings, installations and video works are intricately layered arrangements that bring history, situation, provenance, material and process into correspondence; revealing the ways in which image systems are embedded in our historical and cultural narratives. Originally from Johannesburg South Africa, Vinokur has presented work and projects internationally, including RaumX, London; Camden Arts Centre, London; Art Night London; Shangri-La Studios, Beijing; Modern Art Projects, Cape Town; SHELF, London; Tintype Gallery, London; Bosse & Baum, London; Godart Gallery, Johannesburg; Caustic Coastal, Manchester and The 50th Venice Biennale, Venice. Vinokur graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2015. 
For The Window Project, Nicole brings a particular interest in the impact of colonialism and immigration on local biodiversity, planting trends, native/invader/alien classifications and how plants become part of local culture and identity.

At One, Nicole Vinokur, 2018

machinaloci space is a place for playful research into alternative ways of being, thinking, and doing together. The Window Project @ machinaloci space is a series of commissioned artworks that contribute to the local public conversation by working with the shopfront windows as an interface that begins to dissolve the boundary between public and private.



2016 project at University of California Berkeley campus.

About Dialogue & Round

As artist in residence in the Department of Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley during February and March 2017, Carol Mancke will work in the newly opened Media/Maker Lab space (175 Dwinelle) and curate a series of workshops and performances with students, visitors and staff that experiment with different forms of conversation and collaborative thinking.

Made in 2015, Carol’s Table 18, is a  modular table that combines to form a twelve-foot diameter table that seats 18 people. The surface is inscribed with the plan of an imaginary city that knits six real public spaces of recent prolonged public  into one imagined city fabric. Table 18, first installed in the RCA Research Biennial (London 2015), and later featured in The Democratic Table event at the Tate Modern (London 2016), prompted conversations about activism, cities and social change (see machina for more about Carol’s work).

During this residency, Carol is working on a second table, this one inscribed in a way that draws attention to issues of global (and local) migration. Carol believes that these large round tables can be used to enrich public cultural and political conversation at the neighborhood scale. Working collaboratively with other artists and thinkers, she is testing different methods for deploying the tables in public space that include: public readings and performances; collaborative game development; curated combat and argument; collaborative making, writing and/or singing and other tactics.

Carol Mancke

February – March 2017

Timeline for Dialogue & Round:

Residency period: February – April 2017

In residence in the space (10:00 am -5:30 pm):

Tuesdays: 2/14. 21. 28; 3/7, 21, 28

Thursdays: 2/9, 16; 3/2. 23, 30

Fridays: 2/17, 24; 3/3, 24, 31

More about Carol

London and Oakland-based artist, architect and educator Carol Mancke works at the intersection of art and cities through her practice, machina loci. A graduate of UC Berkeley’s school of Architecture, Carol’s practice engages a range of time frames and scales from drawing, photography, sculpture and installation through to architecture and urbanism. Her work has featured in solo and group shows in Britain and Japan, including the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial in 2009. In 2011-12, she was artist in residence at the Central Institute of Technology in Perth, Australia. Carol was a Senior Lecturer at Kingston University London (2004-2014); has degrees from M.I.T., UC Berkeley and the University of the Arts London and is currently pursuing a PhD in fine art practice at the Royal College of Art in London. Her research looks at the capacity of artistic practices operating in public to generate alternative ways to think through and produce structures of everyday life. She is investigating how artists challenge the way cities are designed and inhabited; how their work helps us to break through habitual patterns of thought and whether it is possible for artistic practice to function as a positive force in the public arena outside the operations of capital. Carol is currently a visiting researcher in Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley.



Ellsemere Port Boogie Woogie


Welcome to Ellesmere Port Boogie Woogie!*

Ellesmere Port Boogie Woogie is a contemporary art experiment investigating the hidden lives of cars and car parks.

In July 2014, artist Carol Mancke explored the performative possibilities of Ellesmere Port car parks – filming from above using a camera suspended from balloons – and collecting individual stories about cars in Ellesmere Port. Please say hello if you see her!

And, if this piques your curiosity, perhaps you would be willing to participate in the experiment by allowing Carol to interview you in your car? If so, please email her at

*Ellesmere Port Boogie Woogie is also part of artist Nayan Kulkarni’s research project that is developing a unique approach to public art in Ellesmere Port. For more about Nayan Kulkarni see

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