A Machine to See With

Today’s your last chance to (legally) rob a bank.

Your cell phone rings. It’s a recording. A no-nonsense British woman dictating very precise instructions. You need to be on the Water Power Park footbridge, on St. Anthony Main, by 2:15. Stash your ID in your sock. Make sure no one sees you. Further instructions will follow. “There is no room for error.”

This is the tense beginning of A Machine to See With, a site-specific film experiment that sends participants scrambling through their city in a real-life noir thriller. Orchestrated by U.K. art collective Blast Theory and funded by a number of film and multimedia commissions, the “movie” has been playing urban neighborhoods all around the country. Many people participated this past weekend, and today is your last chance to get in on the fun.

Here’s the plan: Moviegoers submit a cell phone number and then await a series of cryptic robocalls, each containing instructions—ducking inside a parked car, say, or locking yourself in a bathroom stall—that ultimately lead up to a bank heist.

The result is a smarty-art role-playing game, one laced with film-history references and subtle commentary on the tyranny of choice, the illusion of individuality, and the automation of modern life.

A Machine to See With
April 19, 1–4 p.m.
$10 ($8 for Walker Art Center members)
For tickets and more information, visit walkerart.org
 

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