What do life support devices do when there are no humans left to support? These plucky little machines have found a solution: when no human is available, they work to keep each other alive instead.
Revital Cohen, who previously tried to cheer up mice who were genetically engineered to be depressed, designed The Immortal, a series of machines that circulate liquids and air. Instead of being hooked up to a human body, as we would expect, they instead pump those life-giving materials through other machines, creating a sense that the machines are keeping each other alive. Cohen created The Immortal to explore the relationship between humans and machines:
The Immortal investigates human dependence on electronics, the desire to make machines replicate organisms and our perception of anatomy as reflected by biomedical engineering.
I know I'm irrationally anthropomorphizing, but watching the machines in action, I almost feel sorry for them. They're an unwitting circle of damned machines, devices that have no way of understanding that they're only being used for an illusory sense of their real purpose. If these machines were sentient, would pumping liquid through a human or through another machine make any difference to them?