Just Say Whoa: Smoking Machine Makes You Want to Quit

Art doesn’t really need a reason – especially when it’s rad machinery that performs a pointless action over and over. Kristoffer Myskja’s Smoking Machine is the perfect example of a pointless but truly awesome machine. The Smoking Machine does exactly what the name implies: it smokes cigarettes, puffing them until they’re gone and then discarding the spent butts on the ground around it.

Of course, the human action of smoking can be considered just as pointless as the machine’s smoking…so perhaps Myskja meant his machine as a commentary on this very human addiction.

The machine works by doling out one cigarette at a time to a small holder. Once the cigarette is firmly in place, it is lit and then smoked by an electric air valve. The valve takes draws like a human smoker would, slowly turning the stick of tobacco into ashes that fall to the floor. The butt then falls as well, leaving a rather unattractive pile of debris all around the base of the machine.

For all of the death and disease represented by the machine’s repetitive action, it’s actually a beautiful piece of weird technology. And who knows – maybe watching it consume all of those chemicals could help smokers kick the habit once and for all. See it in action at the artist’s site for the full effect.

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See more in Art of Tech or under Technology. September, 2010.