The Influence Machine by Tony Oursler


His art covers a range of mediums working with video, sculpture, installation, performance and painting

Oursler conceived TheInfluence Machine as a kind of ‘psycho-landscape’.

From the radio to the telephone, from television to the internet, the ‘influence machines’ of modern media have been deployed as tools of communication and information, but also interpreted as conduits for otherworldly voices. Delving deep into the history of media, he created an historic sound and light showwhich invoked the spirit of the phantasmagorias of the late eighteenth century to investigate what Oursler called ‘the dark side of the light’, an alternative history of disembodied communication. 

Monologues by several figures, projected onto trees, walls and smoke, make references to key names from media history such as television pioneer John Logie Baird and Etienne Gaspard Robertson, who founded the first moving image theatre in a Paris crypt in 1763.

The haunting soundtrack, performed on a glass harmonica, was composed by musician and expanded cinema pioneer Tony Conrad.


Video projection, smoke, virtual image production, combining video and sound elements, images crawling around used environment.



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