Et tu, Machine (EtM) is an art duo consisting of Atom Cianfarani & Alexis O’Hara.

Their name brings to mind “Et tu, Brutus” a phrase signifying a betrayal, a curse or a warning. Here, the Machine betrays. A stand-in for the endless technological lust for the new,  Machine is also the ideological impetus driving this lust: capitalism and its byproducts, greed and individualism. The multilingualism is a nod to the duo’s home province, Quebec. In English, the homonym A2 Machine evokes a production line by Alexis + Atom. A2 in French leads to machine à deux, implying a machine only operated by two.

Working mainly in text-based live art, Alexis defends an aversion to naming things. Her use of onomatopoeia to title her works (Squeeeeque, OUFF…) invariably leads to misunderstandings. This tactic flies in the face of the neo-liberal push to self-brand. Adopting failure & awkwardness as tools, her product is hard to sell, therefore rejecting any capitalist imperative. Onstage, any confusion is purposeful; a witchcraft of improvisation and comedy skewers normativity, misogyny, toxic capitalism and white privilege.

Atom’s Campaign for Change (A bilingual screen printed urban graffiti series of slogans: Consume Love, Consommez l’amour, Refuse Norms, Operate with Less, À bas le luxe) is viral. Their sculptural work is informed by their trades – furniture and green infrastructure design. Thematically, works manifest environmentalist-burnout. Atom is an upcycled commodity designer, unafraid of collective mortality, diving into dumpsters to find inspiration for artmaking.  

The thematic links of A & A’s individual work animate their creations as Et tu, Machine. They warn of environmental collapse, the glorification of greed within unfettered consumerism, the inherent sexist, racist and queerphobic tenets of our institutions. EtM has a flair for the absurd. Humour & invention fuel activist artworks that engage audiences with a spirit of “queer imagineering”.

Cianfarani & O’Hara live and work in Montreal and Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson.