Wonder Machine: Belen Mirage

Installation and proto-cinematic event
for High Desert Test Sites, 2013
Gif of Wonder Machine in action.

A glass of water that is never still, never spills, and hardly quenches. Wonder Machine: Belen Mirage was a present day proto-­cinematic event, created by Kera MacKenzie and Courtney Prokopas, marrying two paramounts of moving image history—the zoetrope and the drive­-in movie theatre —in an all but abandoned sub­-development in Belen, New Mexico.

Wonder Machine: Belen Mirage took place on Friday, October 18th as a part of High Desert Test Sites 2013. The installation was on view during the day and into the night in Belen, New Mexico (coordinates: 34.559271, -106.553918) on a .71 acre plot just east of Route 47 and off an unmarked military road in the Canyon Del Rio community. The land was purchased by Courtney Prokopas via eBay for the price of $1. Wonder Machine now exists as a memory, a video, some photos, a gif, and a flipbook.

Wonder Machine blog
High Desert Test Sites event page

Installation Documentation

HD video documentation of zoetrope image
Photo: Courtney Prokopas
Photo: Courtney Prokopas
Photo: Courtney Prokopas
Photo: Courtney Prokopas

Show Poster

High Desert Test Sites 2013 poster

Screening History

Life in a Tin Can, The Nightingale, Streaming on Twitch

No Chill, Great Space, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL

In Progress Documentation

Single frame printed on inside of Wonder Machine.
Postcard rack with Tracking Shots postcard as stand in.
Kera MacKenzie, Courtney Prokopas, and Flower in hole.
Levelling the pole.
Levelling the pole II and wide shot of site.
Joseph Herring with plane setting up for High Desert Mink Hole (also on site for an installation/performance).