August, 11, 2023 — March, 4, 2024

The exhibition “Man and Machine” organized by Polytechnic Museum in collaboration with Machine Tool Museum and reveals the connection between technical evolution and creativity, immersing the viewers in the history of our country and the factory environment.

We live in a world where people solve most problems using various mechanisms. Machines give in to human hands in versatility but surpass them in strength and precision of movements. The history of improving machine tools is a long journey of the struggle to transfer simple routine operations from a man to a machine. The exhibition “Man and Machine” tells how the concept of “technology” has transformed over time. The title of the exhibition refers to the work of the same name by the Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev where he reflects on the influence of technological progress on the spiritual and emotional life of a human.

The invention of some mechanisms was necessary but not sufficient condition for the industrial revolution. After all, only as part of a system a machine can be useful for a human. People began to use machine tools in the 19th century, then technological lines came to the fore. The culmination of the production development was the holistic approach to a product: the creation of tools, their service and subsequent disposal.

The exhibition “Man and Machine”, curated by Sasha Puchkova, shows how the scale and the organization of technical systems changed and how these transformations reflected social changes. From semi-handicraft workshops, guilds and manual machines to production lines, corporations and robots. From mechanical monotonous labor to programming. From wrench to laptop. At the exhibition Machine Tool Museum presents the unique set of transparencies from Polytechnic Museum collection which demonstrates the production history in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Manchester at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

One of the sections of the exhibition “Zone of Experience” immerses the guests in the world of sensations and empirical practice. Visitors can observed here one of the most popular machines. It’s allowed to examine it and even touch it with the hands. Also in this zone the guests can feel the smells and hear the sounds of modern factories and workshops. Especially for the exhibition the sound designer Alexander Kurgin recorded the “voices” of Tula’s plants and created the sound composition that can be heard while exploring the exhibition.

Sasha Puchkova is a curator at Polytechnic Museum, an interdisciplinary artist and researcher.

The exhibition is available from August 11, 2023 to March 4, 2024 in Machine Tool Museum in cluster “Oktava”.

Ticket to the exhibition: 300 rub.

The “Combo” tariff applies: exhibition “Man and Machine” + temporary exhibitions 500 rub.