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937 Grayson Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
USA

Automata

AUTOMATA

I first became enamored with Automata sculptures in the late 1970’s after discovering San Francisco’s ‘Musee Mechanique’ which is a museum of turn of the century coin operated mechanical sculptures, Automata,  stereo-scopes and mechanical music players currently located at Fishermans Wharf area of San Francisco, This coin operated museum should be at the top of every tourists must see list of Bay Area attractions, second only of course to visiting the Pohaku Ukulele shop.

My first creations in Automata sculpture were strictly mechanically operated while some of the later ones have been using programmable microprocessors to help operate the sculptures. There is a lot oftime involved into making these so I have not made very many.  But they are fun!

One nice thing about these projects is the collaborative effort that is needed to make them happen. I solicit friends to help me program the micro-processors, apply painterly effects, sew miniature clothes and provide voice talent.

Check back occasionally, there will be new projects added on with some regularity. 


Automatic Fork Dispenser

Convient and popular, Rimco Model 'B' Fork Dispenser, another fabulous Automata Sculpture by Clockwork Hurney.

Concept and Mechanism by Peter Hurney, Arduino programming by Andre Milota. Voices by Julia Napier, Ken Jensen, Lena Ghazarian, Andre Milota and Nicole Eiland. Still camera operator and more by David Silberberg. Berkeley, California 2015


Coin Operated Sculpture

Deposit a quarter and hear an exciting sound clip. Hanging in the corner restaurant, 900 Grayson the sound clips are all centered on the restaurant's menu and atmosphere. The effects painting was done by local artist Robin Cooper, the Arduino microprosser C++ programming done by Andre Milota and the fifteen short sound clips I produced with vocal talent from talented KALX DJ's: Jewel Case, Hannah, Miranda Wright and the Native Disinformant. 

900-Grayson-Art-01.jpg

J. Chein Melody Player

The J. Chein company was an American toy manufacturer based in New York. They produced musical lithographed tin toys amongst other items. This melody player was like a player piano and used a paper roll with punched holes to perform various tunes. The roll is hand cranked over a harmonica like device which air is blown thru to make its tunes.  I first saw one of these in the permanent collection of the NAMM foundation’s Museum of Making Music located in Carlsbad, California. I found an old one on e-bay which was broken and restored it and is now part of my collection of oddity music makers.


Red Crank Series

Whimisical and light-hearted, crank Automata series with a signature red cranking lever.

Ursula Upset

The Executioner

Fish Frog


Swan Lake Praxinoscope

Music Box mechanism imagined, designed, conceived and decorated by Peter Hurney, Ballerina animation drawn by Rich Quade.


Hannah and Her Gypsy Violin

Traditional Romanian Gypsy Tune 'I Like Dances' performed by Hannah Glass on a Horn Amplified Violin Built by Peter Hurney of Pohaku Ukuleles. Opening Narration by Andre Milota End Narration by Nicole Eiland Berkeley, California 2015


900 Grayson Street

Automata sculpture 'Le Chef' by Peter Hurney; installed at 900 Grayson Street, Restaurant in January 2014, Berkeley, California. This is an Arduino microprocessor controlled sculpture, there are six variations of the soundtrack performed by Ken Jensen of KALX radio, costume by Nancy Burky and programming by Andre Milota.