Machina Loci


January 2021

The third iteration of The Window Project @ machinaloci space, American as a Second Language by Kasia Krzykawska opened on January 30 2021. Krzykawska treats the window as a sketchbook for quotes and thoughts that she gathered while adapting to a new land, new histories, and new cultural codes. When, as a recent immigrant to the US, she was assigned a story of Thanksgiving to read for her English language class, she was intrigued by the coexistence of contradictory narratives around Thanksgiving. This led her to research the relationship between rituals of national glorification and enduring silence about genocide in the commemoration of Thanksgiving.

She writes:
“It seems that beautiful lies are more useful for maintaining the fluidity of national traditions than truth is. In this I find a surprising similarity to my homeland, Poland. Like the monuments toppling here in the US, national mythologies are slowly falling apart there”.

“In American as a Second Language, I address Thanksgiving’s dilemmas by alluding to Joseph Beuys’ 1974 performance I Like America, and America Likes Me, in which he locked himself in a cell with a live coyote, an indigenous animal, to “discuss” troubling American politics. I also refer to one of the first American monuments to make my own Plymouth Rock – an ironic memorial to my own arrival exactly 400 years after the Pilgrims”.

November 2020

Adrian Arias and Anais Azul return to machinaloci space to perform Luna Ritual.

September 2020

For the second Window Project @ machinaloci space performer, painter and poet Adrian Arias performs LIFE IS A TREASURE to music by Anais Azul. In times of pandemic and social revolution, Arias decided to recreate his visual language by getting closer to petroglyphs and African and pre-Columbian textile design. He combines the appearance of the new monsters that populate our minds in pandemic, with the new angels of revolution and social change emerging in our communities.

May 2020

As part of the For you, Artist and Elder’s project, collaborating with Mariah Castle, Carol made a gift for her brother Ralph, Have you Seen the Hatted Shinyhead Hill-Strider?

November 2019

In November 2019, machinaloci launched The Window Project @ machinaloci space, a series of commissioned artworks that contribute to the local public conversation by working with the shop front windows as an interface that begins to dissolve the boundary between public and private, with COMMON WEALTH an installation by Nicole Vinokur.

machinaloci space is a place for playful research into alternative ways of being, thinking, and doing together in Berkeley California.

February 2019

The Land and Me a three-part ephemeral public artwork commissioned by the Santa Rosa Art in Public Places Fire Response – Round 1 Initiative [in collaboration with Trena Noval]

A series of wildfires swept across northern California in October 2017 killing 44 people. The City of Santa Rosa lost 22 people, 2,800 homes and 400,000 sf of commercial space. This fire and those elsewhere in California in recent years powerfully remind us how much we need each other, our land, and our ecosystem in order to survive and thrive. Through the public art project, The Land and Me, Carol Mancke and Trena Noval aimed to create public opportunities for the Santa Rosa community to honour and share what they learned from the fires – by exploring the question: If the land could speak, what would it say to me?

The project brought several artistic perspectives into play to ‘give voice to the land.’ Together with participants, we gathered thoughts, ideas, expressive language, objects and images through two public conversations contributing to the development of a multi-layered public participatory performance, If the land could speak…? The event that took place in a historic round barn owned by the City. If the land could speak…? was developed in collaboration with: Ben Roots; Carole Flaherty; Eki Shola; Ernesto M Garay; Irma Bijou; Kasia Krzykawska; Lea Good-Harris; Nancy Lyons; Margie Purser and Susan Cornelis, with additional support from Aimee Ottersen, Dustin Ordway, Jared Wiltse, Julio Rodrigues, Martine Zuniga, Rachel Gilligan, Tara Thompson and every one of the sixty people who attended the event.

Photographs by D Badger

December 2018

Planning in the Round and Rethinking the American Front Yard
two interactive workshops hosted at machinaloci space

Planning in the Round was presented by James Rojas and John Kamp of Place It! in December 2018 and Rethinking the American Front Yard by James Rojas and James Kamp of Place It! with Trena Noval and Ann Wettrich of Fieldworks in April 2019. Both workshops explored possibilities for neighbourhood-scale conversation and collaboration – addressing questions about how we nudge our way of living toward something more sustainable through making, moving, talking and thinking together.

In Planning in the Round, we imagined what a more walkable Berkeley might be like. In Rethinking the American Front Yard, we addressed ways to rethink front yards to foster more meaningful relationships with each other and with the land we share with all living things. Front yards, although often private land, are an important part of the visual public realm in many American neighbourhoods. Historically they have been more about display – communicating something about their owners and their local communities – than about social gathering. The workshop asked: how might we think about them differently in the 21st Century when we face deepening social alienation and environmental challenges, and perhaps begin to change how we use and inhabit them?

December 2017

Fluid Cities
a workshop held as part of Stanford University’s Human Cities Initiative 2017 Expo

Cities are ever-changing aggregations of human processes fuelled by industrialised capital. As development flows into and through places of low resistance, it can overrun communities and sweep away meaningful human connections. Even as we strive to build more human cities, we can find ourselves complicit in this erasure. In this workshop, around Table 15, Trena Noval and I sought to draw out hunches, half-formed proposals, ideas hovering in peripheral vision and, as yet only partially understood ideas about what we might do to better connect us to each other and to the land that holds us; and how we might shift economic and social norms to forms of exchange that prioritise care and stewardship.

August 2017

Uncaptured Land: Observation and Conversation at the Albany Bulb. Does the Land have Power?

Northern California-based artist Trena Noval and I presented this explorative conversation as part of the monthly Love the Bulb events curated by Susan Moffat. In the ever-changing histories that play out along the shores of San Francisco Bay, the construction debris landfill known as the Albany Bulb has so far escaped multiple attempts to capture and enclose it. What is the nature of this unusual land’s power? Starting from the premise that land has power, we led twenty participants through an experience of listening, pooling impressions, sharing knowledge and generating new narratives within this surprising landscape.

Photographs by Chris Benton, featuring Table 15

July 2017


Table 18 was featured at Theatre of Speaking and Reading part of the RCA Research exhibition.

DayBreak photograph by N Middleton

March 2017

As artist in residence in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California Berkeley during February and March 2017, Carol Mancke will create an installation in the department’s newly opened Media/Maker Lab space and curate a series of workshops and performances with students, visitors and staff that experiment with different forms of conversation and collaborative thinking.

Read more about Dialogue and Round.

November 2016

Table 18 featured in The Democratic Table: Round Table Conversation hosted by Anna Kontopoulou and Jana Valencic on 28 November 2016 at the Tate Exchange, Tate Modern.

June 2015

Carol Mancke mobilised Table 18 to host and curate a series of six roundtable events including discussions, readings, workshops, games and collaborative performances. Each event will address a likely, possible, unlikely and/or impossible future for the area around Studio RCA Riverlight.

Read more about Six Rounds of Six

July 2014

Carol undertook a three-day experiment in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire West, UK as part of her research exploring the intersection of contemporary art practices and the city. Ellesmere Port Boogie Woogie (EPBW) was carried out as part of Nayan Kulkarni’s research project that is developing a unique approach to public art in Ellesmere Port.

Read more about EPBW

February 2014

Carol’s installation Can I _____ in Tiananmen Square was part of the group show ARE YOU OK? at the Hanmi Gallery in London. The installation explored the relationship between what Tiananmen Square represents (or how it is remembered) to its present-day physicality reality.

Read more about Are You OK?

November 2013

For the group exhibition Contingency Planning held in an abandoned social club in Margate UK, Carol presented Lines in the Sand, a brief narrated moving image juxtaposing a flickering public light in Margate with the City Hall Plaza in Seoul. The two images were taken at approximately the same earth time: night in Seoul and early afternoon in Margate.

May 2013

For a group residency at OPEN PLAN, Carol responded to the generic office space and her still unresolved memories of powerlessness working in such environments, making Fallen, a series of three site-specific installations and associated performances.

Read more about OPEN PLAN

March 2013

Carol ran a workshop at Uncanny Landscapes,a week long series of events consisting of workshops, symposia, a conference and exhibition, bringing together artists and academics whose work addresses ‘the ambiguity between subject, object and landscape relations’ organised by PhD researchers Rupert Griffiths (RHUL) and James Thurgill (RHUL) and supported by Landscape Surgery (RHUL) and the Centre for Creative Collaboration.

Read more about Carol’s workshop at Uncanny Landscapes

Visit the Uncanny Landscapes Website

September 2012

Carol’s sculpture and garden, Heila, was shortlisted for the Denmark High School Upgrade Project.

Read more about Helia