The Tetley

The Reversing Machine

Simon Lewandowski & Sam Belinfante

25 January – 2 March 2014

The Reversing Machine was an exhibition designed by artists Sam Belinfante and Simon Lewandowski. At the exhibition’s core is the machine itself; a self-reversing mechanical power source*.  Any object attached will turn at a steady rate for a set time, then stop and be set into reverse – a mechanical palindrone.

Commissioned by Art Laboratory Berlin in 2012, the machine has expanded into an ongoing research project. For their contribution to A New Reality at The Tetley, Belinfante and Lewandowski reconstruct this collective work, incorporating fresh elements in response to the new venue. They have also developed individual works which reflect on their collaboration and on the concerns that generated The Reversing Machine. These include Accordion a new two-part film by Belinfante shot on 16mm film and SETTER a palindromic multiple by Lewandowski.

A repertoire of satellite devices driven by The Reversing Machine act out and reflect ways in which we are able to perceive the flow and passage of time through the action of things and forces in the world. Devices choreographed by the machine include adapted record players, household light fittings, slide projectors and a variety of sculptural automata.

Central to the installation is a pair of turntables driven by the machine which plays a repertoire of specially composed vinyl records. This is The Palindrone Jukebox.

Artists that have produced compositions for The Palindrone Jukebox include:

Ed Atkins / Sam Belinfante / Alice Bradshaw / Adam de la Cour / Manya Doñaque / Golau Glau / Kirsty Harris / Doug Haywood / Lou Hazelwood / Martin Iddon and Antti Sakari Saario, writing as [zygote] / Andy Ingamells / Simon Lewandowski / Kevin Logan / Joanna Loveday / Leah Lovett / Neil Luck / Jessica Rowland / Oliver Thurley / Nathan Walker and Tom Walker / Sam Warren


An incorporated event programme of daytime and evening performances, talks and workshops will run throughout this project. All events are free and open to the public.

Saturday 8 February, 7pm

Mirrors, an evening of live music and performance by Sam Belinfante, musicians Mark Knoop and Neil Luck.

Thursday 13 February, 5pm

Panel discussion about time, space and movement with the artists, Pavel Pyś (Exhibitions and Displays Curator, Henry Moore Institute) and Professor John Mowitt (University of Leeds, School of Fine Art).

Thursday 27 February, 6pm

A walkthrough of the exhibitions with the artists and the chance to ask questions and discuss the project.

The Reversing Machine was supported by

The Elephant Trust
Arts Council England
University of Leeds

*The Reversing Machine mechanism was designed and built by Alistair Metcalf at Effects Too.


Artists’ Biographies:

Sam Belinfante and Simon Lewandowski have worked collaboratively since 2011 on their ongoing project ‘The Reversing Machine’.

Sam Belinfante lives and works in London. Along with filmmaking and photographic work, his practice includes curation, sound and performance. Recent exhibition history includes the curating of and participation in ‘The Voice and The Lens’, IKON Gallery, Birmingham, ‘Slow Boat’ in collaboration with Benedict Drew, Chisenhale Gallery, London and IKON, Corpus Sonus performance at V22, London and Turner Contemporary, Margate, The Blue Bird performance at Barbican, London, all 2012, the solo shows ‘Penumbra’, MIMA and ‘A Bocca Chiusa’, Concrete Space, Hayward Gallery, London, A Cut, A Scratch a Score – A Comic Opera in Three Parts in collaboration with Bruce McLean and David Barnett, Cooper Gallery, Dundee, Scotland, and the performance Stimmung as part of ‘Restless Times’, Tate Britain, in 2011. He collaborated with the Hayward Gallery touring show of ‘John Cage : Every Day is a Good Day’, 2010-11, and presented The Taos Hum screening and performance as part of ‘Beware for the Song Has No End’ curated by Andy Holden at Wysing Art Centre in 2010.

Simon Lewandowski is an artist based in London whose practice encompasses making useful things and useless things, making things that move and things that look as if they are moving.Solo exhibitions include ‘The Reversing Machine’ (with Sam Belinfante), Art Laboratory Berlin, Berlin (2012) ‘Giochi, Passatempi, Harbingers’ Nowhere Gallery, Milan (2011), ‘HOTEL/MOTEL/MOTET’ installation and animated film with poet Richard Price, “Humbermouth” Literary Festival, Hull (2008), ‘The Imagining Machine: an Investigation’, East Street Arts, Leeds (2008), ‘Crimes of Futility No.8: The ArtistMachine’, City Art Gallery, Leeds (2006).