Twice Two Makes Four Without My Will
Mechanism
Glass / Copper / Sawdust / Ion Generator
16 × 12 × 10 cm

2014
Good heavens, gentlemen, what sort of free will is left when we come to tabulation and arithmetic, when it will all be a case of twice two make four? Twice two makes four without my will. As if free will meant that! 1

As an exercise devoted to explore the interpolations between notation and matter, Twice Two Makes Four Without My Will is a thought-experiment on decidability and the meta-linguistic requirements of mathematics, and a partial counterargument to Dostoyevsky’s narrator in Notes from Underground. The small object can be described as a glass container housing two copper plates with sawdust in between. The top plate is connected to a negative ion generator, and the bottom to the ground. By charging the air/matter within the container with negative ions, the circuit makes the sawdust move frantically between the two plates.

1 Dostoyevsky, F. (2005) Notes from Underground.
San Diego, Ca: ICON Group International Inc. ISBN 0497010496. p.35.