Perpetual West takes ‘Bhāskara’s wheel’ as its starting point. A 12th century experiment designed by Indian mathematician-astronomer Bhāskara II, this spoked wheel and flowing mercury mechanism aimed to induce constant dynamic equilibrium. Alongside other early medieval perpetual motion machines, “magic wheels” point to a long history of fabricated artefacts that promise energy, liberation from conventional wisdom, and the notion of running forever.
So too does the romantic notion of ‘The West’ appear as something just always out of reach, ever on the horizon, beyond our familiar and comfortable existence. Here it manifests as a strange, perhaps even alien, relic of what the future may hold for Melbourne’s west.
During the day, a giant glass-reinforced concrete wheel with two polished brass orbs fixed to a steel frame attest to the long history and still-possible aspirations for a manufacturing heartland in the region.
By night, a inner red neon ring appears and surrounding pink neon strips call out otherworldly possibilities: connection to new space technologies, mini-satellite construction, and other future-focussed prototyping that can continue the strong legacy of the west.