The inhabitants of the world, creatures of all kinds, human and non-human, are wayfarers;
generations are like “a series of inter- laced trails.” String figures all.

Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble, (Duke University press, Durham and London, 2016), p.32

The Lonely Machine initiated as a research project in 2020 and developed in a form of an application which enables a device to take photographs (screenshots) from Google Street View. In the current stage the user inputs the coordinates of any location using a geodata platform and can also input certain variables of the image in the code, such as the depth of field, camera angle and number of photos. The project is in collaboration with IT professional Kostis-Saitas Zarkias, the research for 2021 was supported by the Greek Ministry of Culture.

The Lonely Machine unfolds as a futuristic narrative of a machine’s view of the several different locations it ‘visits’. The machine’s field of view is the actual imagery produced by another machine, the Google Street View, where it chooses what to photograph from this endless visual world. When it is not worth ‘clicking’ it prefers a white background that writes: “Sorry we have no imagery here”.
The Lonely Machine strolls around wounded areas of the earth, where the ecological stress can no longer be hidden and the carrying capacity has been exceeded, the degraded and polluted ones, those attacked by overpopulation, hypertourism, deforestation, water pollution. The Lonely Machine is, a chthonic one, a cyborg, a critter of the Terrapolis, but above all an SF: a string figure, a sign of science fiction or fantasy, of speculative fabulation[1]which dares to stay with the trouble. It could be easily, a flaneur, one that strolls around the urban landscapes. But no, as this is no longer the case here and now, not in our times, the times we must think; the times of urgencies that need stories[2].The Lonely Machine is rather a wayfarer on an SF mode, who entangles, who tracks the lines of living and dying, who cultivates response-ability, who makes present to itself what it is doing, who lives in consequences or with consequence. It is not one that takes on reinterpreting the image of the city[3], like the flaneur, but the one who composts on a damaged planet of capitalist ruins.[4] 

It is on a mission of bringing together past and future stories, new and old ruins, futuristic fantasies, ancient myths and technological advances of a wounded earth: “giving and receiving patterns, dropping threads and failing but sometimes finding something that works, something consequential and maybe even beautiful, that wasn’t there before, of relaying connections that matter, of telling stories in hand upon hand, digit upon digit, attachment site upon attachment site, to craft conditions for finite flourishing on terra, on earth... a string figure which is thinking as well as making practices, pedagogical practices and cosmological performances.”[5]  It shreds and layers like a mad gardener[6], creating an open and shifting archive which activates linkages and refuses exclusion, narrating new stories on what could happen or could have happened, calling for string figure games that shape practices of living and dying in rich worldings[7] And it is not one but many as it itself manifests using the plural ‘we’ when imagery is not enough.

At large, the work reflects on the perplexed relations between virtual and real, past and future, nature and culture, local and global and how they are reconsidered and transformed through advanced technology. The Lonely Machine is an ongoing project that attempts to examine the virtual space through technology, in order to compose collective eco-narratives that can address the troubles and improbability of our times.


The Lonely Machine was for first time exhibited in June 2022 in the group exhibition “Weaving Worlds” curated by Daphne Dragona, in Athens, ACG Gallery (installation shots above).
 The  edition Sorry we have no imagery here” was created by Constantinos Hadjinikolaou.

Supported by:

[1] Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble, (Duke University press, Durham and London, 2016), 10
[2] Haraway, 35
[3] Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, Harvard University Press, 2002
[4] Haraway, 36

[5] Haraway, 10 and 14
[6] Haraway, 57
[7]Haraway, 10