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Watch a Hypnotizing Machine Sort River Rocks by Age

The Jller uses a method that is just as much art as it is science.

The Jller is a work of art parading as a scientist. The machine’s purpose is to sort through pebbles collected from its namesake river, the Iller, a German tributary of the Danube. It automatically analyzes the stones and place them in lines according to their age, forming a visible timeline of the rocks in the river.

Watch as the machine carefully plucks one rock from platform and scans it for color composition, layers, patterns, grains and surface texture to determine its age and type. The origins of the rocks in the river Iller are known: they were either eroded from the Alps or transported by glaciers. As a result, it’s relatively easy for the machine to identify the age and type of rhe stones. 

Jller is a part of “Ignorance,” a collaborative exhibition by German artist Benjamin Maus and Czech artist Prokop Bartoníček. 

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