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"Mechanical Figures - twentythousandcycles.NET"
Experimental interactive movie inspired by
Nikola Tesla


A bit more about the artists we interviewed,
their connections with Tesla etc...


  • Laurie Anderson
  • Internationally famous experimental performance artist and musician from New York. From 1970s she collaborated with David Bowie (her hit Superman , 1982), Philip Glass, William S. Burroughs, Peter Gabriel, David Sylvian, Jean Michel Jarre, Brian Eno, her long-term partner Lou Reed, and others. Her well-known albums are Big Science , Mister Heartbreak, Home of the Brave, Strange Angels etc.
    Her song collection Like A Stream from 1978 was inspired by the famous photograph of Nikola Tesla from his laboratory in Colorado Springs, where he is sitting in the midst of sparks coming from a huge coil. Tesla is also mentioned in her song "Dance of Electricity".

    "Tesla came over from Graz and went to work for Thomas Edison. Edison couldn't stand Tesla for several reasons. One was that Tesla showed up for work every day in formal dress - morning coat, spats, top hat and gloves - and this just wasn't the American Way at the time. Edison also hated Tesla because Tesla invented so many things while wearing these clothes."

    Laurie Anderson, "Dance of Electricity", United States part 1

Laurie Anderson, NYC Jan 2006

photo: Mare Milin


  • Marina Abramovic
  • World famous performance artist of Serbian origin, called "grandmother of performance art", is without question one of the seminal artists of our time. Since the beginning of her career in Belgrade during the early 1970s, Abramovic has pioneered the use of performance as a visual art form. She was awarded with Golden Lion Award at Venice biennale in 1997 for her video installation and performance Balkan Baroque.

    In 2004 she made a performance and video art work Tesla Urn in Nikola Tesla's Museum in Belgrade.

Marina Abramovic

photo: Mare Milin

  • Terry Gilliam
  • Terry Gilliam, ex member of Monty Python Flying Circus and famous film director ("Brazil", "Twelve Monkeys", "Fisher King", "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"...) has the idea to direct a biopic about Nikola Tesla since 1990s. Almost all of the inventive and visually impressive Gilliam's films deal with the idea of future, so we were intrigued to learn more about what Terry Gilliam thinks about Tesla and what attracted him to his unique personality. So we learned that his, as he said, "obsession with Tesla" started by accident when he was directing "Fisher King"...

    "He was best friends with Mark Twain. Debussy used to come over to his place and play the piano. There was a really good book out on him which I gave to Tom Stoppard, hoping he would get interested, but he passed on it."


Terry Gilliam

photo: Mare Milin


  • Andy Serkis
  • Andy Serkis became famous when he enacted Gollum (voice, motion capture) in The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, and also with providing the movement for the King Kong remake, also directed by Peter Jackson. In the newest Christopher Nolan's film "The Prestige" (2006) Serkis plays Tesla's assistant.

  • Hiroshi Matsumoto
  • Executive Vice President for Research and Finance at the famous Kyoto University, PhD in physics, expert in the field of electronics and communication, prof. Matsumoto is so far the only scientist interviewed for the project. He is one of the world leading authorities in the field of wireless transfer of energy, and also a great connoisseur and admirer of Nikola Tesla.
    His project of orbiting solar power plants, to some extent based on Tesla's ideas, consists in launching of gigantic solar panels in the Earth orbit and wireless transfer of the collected energy through microwaves. Energy from the Sun can be collected in space much more efficiently than on Earth, and it is believed that the development of this technology could permanently solve energy problem on our planet, as prof. Matsumoto believes - before the year 2050! Professor Matsumoto leads his research team at Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere outside Kyoto.

prof. Hiroshi Matsumoto & Helena

photo: Edgar Beals


  • Christopher Priest
  • Christopher Priest is the author of the novel "The Prestige" (1995), whose film adaptation directed by Christopher Nolan was released in October 2006. In this fantastic novel set in the Victorian time, about the fight of two magicians for the "prestige", Nikola Tesla is a key episode character (played by David Bowie in the film) that helps one of the magicians to create a futuristic machine which helps him to touch the borders of real magic. Priest is a notable British writer of SF, awarded with the BSFA award (three times), the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and World Fantasy Award.

Christopher Priest

photo: Mare Milin

  • Alan Gibbs
  • Internationally successful businessman and inventor from New Zealand, well-known art patron. Gibbs commissioned the world biggest Tesla coil for his private sculpture park in Kaukapakapa, outside Auckland. He studied engineering, and as an inventor, of course he is fascinated with Tesla. He started his entrepreneurship career in manufacturing, and later expanded it to telecommunications, finances, freight, media and other industries, becoming one of the wealthiest New Zealanders. He was also a New Zealand diplomat in London.
    Alan Gibbs and his company Gibbs Technologies are developing the Aquada, an innovative amphibian vehicle that combines the characteristic of sports car and speedboat.

Alan Gibbs

photo: Al Keddie

  • Eric Orr
  • One of the most famous graffiti artists from New York City, who collaborated with Keith Harring on a series of drawings in NYC Subway in 1980s.

  • Douglas Rushkoff
  • Writer, columnist, documentarian and teacher on technology, media and popular culture, cult author of the Internet generation.

    Nikola Tesla appears in Ecstasy Club, his novel about the early days of rave and techno culture.

  • Samantha Hunt
  • Writer and artist from New York. Her newest novel "The Invention of Everything Else" (2008) is about last days of Nikola Tesla.

Samantha Hunt & Sabina Hahn, NYC Jan 2006

photo: Mare Milin


  • Terry O'Reilly
  • The director of Violet Fire, a contemporary multimedia opera inspired by the life of Nikola Tesla. The opera was composed by the minimalist composer Jon Gibson, a member of the Philip Glass Ensemble. The librettist is Miriam Seidel, American dramatist. The opera premiered in 2004 in Philadelphia. It was performed on July 9, 2006 at the National Theater in Belgrade, as a part of the celebration of 150th anniversary of Tesla's birth.

  • Peter Roche
  • Sculptor, conceptual artist and performer from New Zealand, well known for his site specific sculptures and installations in New Zealand and other places. His sculpture / light installation Coral (2000) in downtown Auckland became a city icon. For the Auckland city harbor he is developing a spectacular sculpture Twister.
    Roche works a lot with neon, light, electricity...

Peter Roche

photo: Al Keddie

  • Paul Laffoley
  • American symbolist artist and architect. He is mixing the visual systems of science and alchemy, combining mysticism and symbolism with the simple technical diagrams. Many of his works and ideas were inspired by Tesla's person and inventions.


  • Rade Šerbedžija
  • Croatian actor of ethnic Serbian descent. He was one of the most famous actors in former Yugoslavia, and had various notable film, TV and theater roles, in 1970s and 1980s. He played Nikola Tesla in TV series produced by Croatian Television in 1977.
    Šerbedžija became internationally known for the leading role in Before the Rain (1994), Macedonian film directed by Milco Mancevski, nominated for Academy Award and awarded at Venice Film Festival with the Golden Lion. In 1990s he continued his career in Hollywood, becoming known for his supporting roles in Mission: Impossible II, The Saint, Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut , Guy Ritchie's Snatch , Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and other films. His theater Ulysses performed "Tesla Electric Company" on the island of Brijuni in Croatia, directed by the renowned Slovenian director Tomaž Pandur.

  • Mat Dilling
  • Neon artist, founder of one of the most renowned neon studios in New York City, Lite Brite Neon. Time Out New York magazine said Dilling is "arguably the neon king of New York". The studio pays tribute to Nikola Tesla as the actual inventor of neon light.

Mat Diling, NYC Jan 2006

photo: Mare Milin


  • Craig Marin & Olga Felgemacher
  • New York based puppeteers, founders of the famous studio Flexitoon.


  • Jamie Mereness
  • Founder of Collective:Unconscious, a New York non-profit theater group and performance space, and the builder of the biggest Tesla coil on Manhattan. He is best known for his sound design and special sound effects for various off-Broadway theater productions, based on the use of technology.


  • Joseph Kinney
  • Chief engineer at the New Yorker Hotel, New York, where Tesla lived his last years and died in 1943. He is also an unofficial historian of the hotel, the expert for the hotel heritage, including Nikola Tesla.


  • Stephen Whitty
  • Film critic from New York, member of the famous New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC). We interviewed Stephen Whitty at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, because of the Nicolas Roeg's science fiction film "The Man Who Fell to Earth" (1976), where the leading character, extraterrestrial played by David Bowie, is thought to be inspired by Tesla.

  • M. G. Taylor
  • Leading Croatian illusionist, with notable international success. Inspired by Tesla, uses many of Tesla's technology and inventions in his shows.

 M.G. Taylor

photo: Mare Milin


  • Dana Budisavljevic
  • Croatian filmmaker. Her documentary "Everything's Fine!" (2003) about a Croatian porn actress in Amsterdam, was awarded and presented on many festivals. She was also the founder of the first Croatian student film festival FRKA, key member of the crew of Motovun Film Festival, the biggest film event in Croatia, and the executive director of ZagrebDox, festival of the documentary film. She is now member of team that organizes Animafest, well known animation festival in Zagreb. Dana is also Tesla's grandniece.





  Laurie Anderson & Galatea; photo by Mare Milin
Coil New Zealand
Washington Square
Terry Gilliam
Wellington, New Zealand
Galatea Knitting
Bugz Slovenia
Sabina Hahn
Rade Serbedzija
Gala in Galatea, New Zealand
Laurie Anderson
Gala at Brooklyn Bridge
Galatea Flying
Whaiotapu, NZ
Blue Room
Galatea's House
Peter Roche
Tesla Radio
Bugz Circle
Shibuya, Tokyo
Bronic Sisters
Bronic Sisters
Budapest, Hungary
New Yorker Hotel
Christopher Priest
Slovenia River
Samantha Hunt
Bug no. 13
Bug no. 13
Sabina Arch