Secret Machine

Reynold Reynolds
USA/DE 2009
7 min. two-channel installation / 14 min. single channel projection
HD video transferred from 16mm & digital stills

Secret Machine is the second of the Secrets Trilogy; a cycle exploring the imperceptible conditions that frame life and is preceded by Secret Life (2008) and followed by Six Easy Pieces (2010)

In Secret Machine a woman is subjected to Muybridge’s motion studies. She is treated in the same fashion as in the original Muybridge photography: with Greek aesthetic in a Cartesian grid. A short time after Mybridge’s studies, Duchamp painted Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912) attempting to show time on a flat surface. He is expanding cubism and painting into another dimension: time. Time is about movement and change, like our experience of reality. Without change life does not exist. Photography does not capture this experience. In Secret Machine different filming techniques are compared to the motion of the body. The film camera becomes another measurement tool in a way a video camera cannot. The intention was to make an art piece from the point of view of a machine, specifically a camera.


Protagonist Helga Wretman
Antagonist Ana Bellido
Stand in for Antagonist Nana Bahlmann

Cinematography by Carlos Vasquez

Art Direction, Production Design: Maria Schöpe
Motion Programming: Daniel Urria
Assistant to Carlos Vasquez: Juan Manuel Ortiz
Set Construction: Thomas Maurer
Driver: Daniele Fermani
Drawings: Clement Page
Intern: Dylan Walsh
Intern: Laura Speicher
Math and Philosophy Consultant: Erik Douglas

Director Visual Effects: Carlos Vasquez
Music, Additional Foley: Hannes Strobl
Film to Video Transfer: Philipp Orgassa at “PICTORION Das Werk”

Special Thanks to
Anamarie Michnevich
Jozefina Chetko
Yuki Jungesblut
Beate Kunst
Catherine Nichols
Rotraut Buß
Friederike Oberlin