Mephista

Kinetic Sculpture / 2021

Freud believed that there are two kinds of human instincts, one being the instinct of love and the other the instinct of death. The former is constructive, the latter destructive. He believed that people generally channel their death instincts outwards. Aggression, for example, arises from the death instincts.

"I am the spirit, ever, that denies! And rightly so: since everything created, In turn deserves to be annihilated: Better if nothing came to be. So all that you call Sin, you see, Destruction, in short, what you’ve meant By Evil is my true element."

"Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint! Und das mit Recht; denn alles was entsteht Ist werth daß es zu Grunde geht; Drum besser wär’s daß nichts entstünde. So ist denn alles was ihr Sünde, Zerstörung, kurz das Böse nennt, Mein eigentliches Element."
Mephistopheles in Faust (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1808)

Mephistopheles is a somewhat undefined character in Goethe's Faust. Void of a unique personality, his sole goal is the destruction of all that exists. As God's adversary he embodies the primal principle of Evil and persistently criticizes His summit of creation – Man. At the same time, he's a materialization of all destructive tendencies within Faust himself, and thus within all human beings. Yet through it all, he fails to realize that he too is nothing but a pawn in a higher being's game.

Mephista is a machine taking on a similar role. Another number in a line-up of machines built to embody human traits. Contrary to Mephisto, she has become frustrated over always being confronted with humans and their emotions, being nothing but a personification. Not capable of bringing herself to feel those same emotions of bliss and love – nor being allowed to – she is doomed to sit on the sidelines begrudging all happy couples she encounters.

She's angered. Her coping mechanism sets in, she scours the web for pictures of happy couples and starts separating them.

Music: Mo Rooneh – echo

University Project