Remix This Video of Machines Working Perfectly

Chris Higgins
YouTube / RaroVHS (Canal 2)
YouTube / RaroVHS (Canal 2) / YouTube / RaroVHS (Canal 2)

In 1930, Ralph Steiner made a film of various mechanical items (think cogs, gears, cams, pistons) moving in perfect rhythm. Now here's the thing: Turn off the sound, and use your own instead.

I recommend something with a solid dance beat, like Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off," or Sam Cooke's "Twistin' The Night Away." You pick, or just queue up some summer jams. The effect will differ based on your song choice.

Trust me. Put on some dance music, then put this on and mute the instrumental soundtrack. Enjoy your summer. (It's also good on a loop at parties.)

And now a little background on the film above. Entitled Mechanical Principles, it shows closeups of various machines and mechanical devices. Steiner was a photographer and early avant-garde filmmaker. Several of his early works featured patterns seen in the natural or manufactured world, and in film, he's probably best known for H2O.

It's fun to look at imagery from 85 years ago and see what comes to mind. For me, there's something relaxing and soothing about the repetitive motion, and the seeming predictability of the motions shown. It also brings to mind dance, and more than one YouTube commenter suggested it is basically "porn for engineers." I think that sums it up.