"The minimum wage machine allows anybody to work for minimum wage. Turning the crank will yield one penny every 4.11 seconds, for $8.75 an hour, or NY state minimum wage (2015). If the participant stops turning the crank, they stop receiving money."
This piece is brilliant on multiple levels, particularly as social commentary.
Without a doubt, most people who started operating the machine for fun would quickly grow disheartened and stop when realizing just how little they’re earning by turning this mindless crank. A person would then conceivably realize that this is what nearly two million people in the United States do every day…at much harder jobs than turning a crank. This turns the piece into a simple, yet effective argument for raising the minimum wage.
Check out Blake Fall-Conroy's Tedx talk below.
"Blake Fall-Conroy is an artist and self-taught mechanical engineer. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, he moved to Ithaca, New York, in 2002 where he later received a BFA in sculpture from Cornell University. As a mechanical engineer he works for International Climbing Machines, where he designs and fabricates remote-controlled robots that climb vertical surfaces. As an artist, Blake’s projects are conceptually motivated, commenting on a wide range of issues from consumerism and the American spectacle, to surveillance and technology. His projects often incorporate mechanical and electronic components as well as objects or motifs found within the routine of everyday life."