Lost Machine

Anastasia Vepreva


Russia doesn’t wage any war against any country. But for some reason the whole world considers it to be an obvious aggressor. They say Russian military equipment is regularly lost in the vast expanses of our planet. Planes, submarines and even people suddenly feel themselves extremely lost, as if they turn out to be beyond the borders of their own state.

This feeling traumatizes people, but it’s the military machine that is traumatized most of all. She is being exploited, she has to serve her master and all his colleagues day by day. It does not feel that she can control anything, even her own body, completely. She is forced to carry out the orders, to advance technological progress, to seize and to kill, being at the same time completely compliant for any exploiter, any master in uniform. All her life is planned and adjusted to against any humanity beforehand, there is no place for hesitating and retreating.

This feeling of being lost is a loss without an obvious loss, which, in its turn, is necessary to make to find yourself in full, to mark your point in the coordinate system. You should break these shackles, lose course, change dislocation, capture radio waves, do some flying over another country, and have a swim near its borders. You must lose everything to gain power, you must do your best to make your cry for help heard by others. Only encroachment on the other state’s territory can give its people at least the slightest idea of intolerable pain that lives inside the oppressed soul.

Nevertheless, the machine cannot free itself, as she is a hostage of state power and obedience. She can only be set free and to do this it should throw itself in the mercy of a more liberal master. And before doing this, to get an illusory chance for freedom, the machine must kill its master. But she cannot get rid of him completely. Only having a corpse of her oppressor inside, the machine can ask for help, being at the same time in a strange balance between a desire for personal liberation and inability to forget her own instrumental depression. Nobody will believe in the machine without the guide, he cannot be absent and it means that if we do not see him, he is obviously more dangerous. So, the machine has to keep his safe decomposing corpse inside, to have an opportunity to surrender to another master, hoping that this another will free her from bondage of its own memory. In this case the transfer of carefully kept dead body, the previous master’s corpse, to the hands of a new master will be the most valuable present, a sacred act of disavowal from its past, for the latter.

Each marking on the map designates a location where Russian military equipment is said to have disappeared. This is what the official rhetoric sounds like: the combat equipment wasn’t forced into foreign territory, it just happened to disappear right there. The graphic sheets below show forgotten machines and in the seemingly peaceful forest photographs, the deceased drivers hide.

Surely, everybody will search for malicious intent. They will say that it is a provocation, that it is no accident that Russia wants to wage war and tries their patience. Others will think and prove to people that the military in any given country do not have enough money. Now, when a new state budget is going to be adopted, these provocations are useful for them. It is high time to come and say: “There you are what your disregard of our possibilities leads to.” And the machine itself will become a precious trophy, a rare monster from an ancient lake. And lots of people will take to their heels to catch Russian spies in the forest, who, according to paradox rumors, are all wearing long black coats. 

But the military machine cannot be free. She always destroys the balance in favour of her skill. She asks for help, but nobody believes her and everybody wants to appropriate her, to continue to exploit her, to keep on violence. The rescuer cannot set the machine free without destroying the enslaving system. The machine is saturated with death and even if she manages to kill the master, she cannot exist without wars.  She is disfigured and to become free she must die.

And after that there appear people who will surely say that there was no machine, it was just a charter boat for amusement. Just masquerade war games. A test. Everything is OK in the military forces. Do not worry.

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