Tech Art

Rube Goldberg at the New Museum is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik

The Daily Pic: Rube's contraptions are as crazy as they seem

"Professor Butts goes over Niagara Falls in a collapsible ash-can and hits upon an idea to take your own picture" (Williams College Art Museum, © Rube Goldberg Inc.)

This is an original drawing made in about 1930 by Rube Goldberg, now in the New Museum show called “Ghosts in the Machine”, which I’m Daily Pic-ing all week. One thing about Goldberg that I’d never noticed before: His “contraptions” almost always include a human who’s attached to their machinery. One of the stranger facts of transcultural psychiatry is that every new technology seems inevitably to get folded into the delusions of the insane. I’m not calling Goldberg a nutter, but I think his drawings channel the way machines quickly become part of our essential selves.

For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit