If you and a friend mess up a celebratory high five, you give it another go. The loud clap of the perfect high five is a satisfying feeling.
Sadly, the two wobbly arms in this video never get that enjoyment. This machine continuously loops in circles, conducting round after round of pathetic high fives.
In July 2010, Turkish artist Deniz Ozuygur set up this temporary installation with Chashama, an arts organization that helps transform unused property into one-time gallery spaces. For about two weeks, the apparatus was showcased in a Manhattan window space at 266 West 37th Street.
Ozuygur created the self high five machine to reflect on the symbol of popularity and acceptance during her grade school days. The two arms are made from rubber casts of her own right arm—one anchored to the wall and the other slowly spinning on a motor that completes a full rotation once per minute.
Observers of Ozuygur’s creation would watch in suspense as the rotating arm approached its height, only to be let down when the two arms missed. However, people stayed, hopeful that the two arms would eventually connect to make a good high five. It never happened.
While the self high five machine is a display of art, there has been at least one legitimate attempt to create a simulated hand-slapper. In 1993, inventor Albert Cohen submitted a patent for a high five simulator. In the patent, Cohen said he aimed to address the fact that “a solitary fan is unable to perform a ‘high five’ to express excitement during a televised sporting event.”
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