Vending Machine is an interactive sculptural installation created by Amy Pennington as part of her residency with Mildmay care home. Amy worked with the digital agency Ayup to that an app which invites audience members to scroll through artworks and experiences developed by the Mildmay Collective. The working vending machine has been customised with the collectives logo and vends affordable artworks to members of the public. The app has been built into in the vending machine and shows photographs, videos and short texts relating to the works and their contexts. If they choose, audience members can buy a version of the artworks to take away.
Vending Machine plays with the choices available in contemporary life. It is a document of the Mildmay Collective’s work, a standalone artwork by a professional artist, and a consumer relationship in which artists, participants and audience are afforded a curated series of choices. In this way, Vending Machine becomes more than the sum of its parts, intervening in discourses around collectivisation, agency, individual success and artistic practice. Just as the participants in the Mildmay Collective are the co-creators of their work as well as the recipients of expert facilitation, so the audience members of Vending Machine are the people that bring this work to life, within the confines of a script already written by the artist.