Apparatus for Non-destructive Transmission of Biological Visualisation - CODAworx

Apparatus for Non-destructive Transmission of Biological Visualisation

Client: moreton bay regional council

Location: redcliffe, Australia

Completion date: 2011

Artwork budget: $90,000

Project Team

artist designer manufacturer

russell anderson



moreton bay regional council


With highly seductive surfaces of polished and cast bronze, brass, steel and copper; playful and responsive lighting and theatre; the machines encourage human interaction and exploration.
Viewers are prompted to consider the nature of time and place, our impact and how we understand what was, ponder what is and speculate on the possibilities
the storey:
Invented in the early 19th century by eccentric naturalist Franz Andriessen, the device is believed have been one of many such apparatus housed on his science vessel, which was lost at sea.

The machine locks onto a sea creature’s life force and copies it, translating and projecting a perfect image of it. As far as we can tell, Apparatus for Non-destructive Transmission of Biological Visualization can only be tuned to one animal without harm. Long after the creature dies it is still able to project its image … a ghostly camera of sorts


Exploring ‘imagined histories’ and developing fictional apparatus/instruments with accompanying narratives is a key theme of my APPARATUS Series. By firing the public imagination, APPARATUS invites speculation and discussion, prompting viewers to question to what extent the story is ‘real. As well as their physical presence, the evolving narrative becomes as culturally significant as the APPARATUS sculptures themselves. APPARATUS becomes an active part of the local community, reigniting public interest in local history and surroundings. Each APPARATUS is unique and site specific to the local area that it is created for with the story being inspired by the local history of the area

Additional Information

By winding the handle on the apparatus, electricity is generated which works a projector, silhouetting a mermaid onto the underneath of the umbrella. The handle also powers internal and external high output LEDs. A sterling silver mermaid inside the machine is mounted on clockwork, and turns proportionally with a second control knob.