THE MACHINES

A world of chain reactions and strange contraptions

The (Very) Physical Comedy Institute

June 8th - 24th, 2014

If you want to make your physicality funnier or your comedy more physical, then you’ve come to the right place. This institute is an intensive two-week laboratory, a unique opportunity to dive into the physical comedian’s tool chest, and have a whole lot of fun in the process. Held at the legendary Celebration Barn in Maine, eight world-class teachers will cover the whole spectrum of physical comedy (including human-Rube-Goldberg machines with Joseph Herscher). More info here.

Bread Goldberg Machine

New York, 2014

Simple Recipe for Perfect Bread

Ingredients: Eggs, flour, steel balls, three weeks of prep and a bucketload of patience.

Created for Berman, a family-owned Israeli bread company.

The Page Turner

Brooklyn, 2012

Joseph takes a sip of his coffee, pulling a string that triggers a device to turn the page of his morning newspaper.

The Page Turner has been viewed by over 7 million people and featured in the New York Times (read the article or watch the interview).

Sesame Street

New York, 2013

Joseph meets Murray Monster and Ovejita in Central Park. He teaches them about kinetic art and makes a plant-watering Rube Goldberg machine.

This aired as four segments spread throughout the Sesame Street episode "House of the Year" in February, 2013.

Man Against Machine

Ars Electronica, Berlin, 2012

Joseph plays a game of soccer against his machine.

This was a live installation in Berlin, Germany, running for three months, where any passerby was invited to play.

Part of the Ars Electronica exhibition IMPETUS AND MOVEMENT in the Volkswagen Automobil Forum.

La Macchina Botanica

Venice Biennial, 2011

A plant-hydration system for the busy gardener.

Built over six days during the opening week of the Venice Biennial with the help of forty local school children.

La macchina botanica was commissioned by MICROCLIMA, a series of site-specific projects in the Greenhouse of Venice's Biennial Garden.

Inventgenuity Workshops

Brooklyn and Boston, 2011

An intensive two day workshop overseen by Joseph involving 300 kids and five assistants t build a 14-metre-long Rube Goldberg machine.

This was part of the Beampcamp Inventgenuity weekend, held in New York and Boston.

The machine was successfully presented to an audience of several hundred people at the end of the workshop.

Creme That Egg!

New Zealand, 2008

Chocolate-egg pulverizing device for those that want to get straight to the creamy filling.

This was the machine that reawakened Joseph's childhood passion for making contraptions.

Viewed by 2 million people and featured in The New Yorker and on New Zealand's current affairs television show Campbell Live.

The Falling Water

New Zealand, 2008

Joseph places glass on wooden spoon, triggering machine to slice cucumber, dispense ice, pour lemonade and splash feijoa vodka into glass.



Christmas Countdown Device

London, 2008

A large clock that counts down to christmas, powered by the movement of cascading chocolate balls through various mechanisms.

Commissioned by DDB (London) and Terry's Chocolate Orange.