designed and created by artist constantine zlatev, ‘the candy machine’ is a winchester model ’94 rifle that has been repurposed into a vending machine that ejects vials of candied sweets. inspired by retro candy dispensers, the installation takes advantage of the gun’s ingenious — once revolutionary — lever-action reloading mechanism to dispense treats to the user in a simple but discomfiting display of the machine’s efficiency.

 

 

 

 

constantine zlatev created the ‘candy machine’ in collaboration with kostadin ilov, a computer engineer and systems administrator at UC berkeley. the unsettling installation uses a minimalist crankshaft system with a small stepper motor to automate the winchester ’94 receiver mechanism, which has been modified to work with specially designed candy capsules. the gun magazine can store seven ‘candies’, and each time a token is dropped in, the mechanical receiver dispenses a vial of sweets in lieu of a bullet shell. in addition, the whole device is programmed and controlled through a ‘rasperry pi’ board, a tiny computer commonly used in DIY tech projects.


constantine zlatev created the candy machine in collaboration with kostadin ilov, a computer engineer

 

 

the price of each candy is linked to a weapon stock index, the market cap weighted index of five leading weapons and ammo stocks — SWHC, RGR, VSTO, OLN, and CAB. the device is readjusted for each purchase, based on the most current index value. once a coin is fed into the slot, the installation recalculates the new value in real time before ejecting a piece of candy. during regular trading hours, the index value changes constantly in accordance with the movement of the five stocks that it contains.


the price of each candy is linked to a weapon stock index

 

 

the 5 x 4 x 3 ft device speaks volumes about gun culture in the US today. likening the accessibility of weapons to the ease of a street side vending machine, zlatev effectively engages in a meaningful commentary about the tumultuous relationship between america and its guns. although disabled, the simple image of the winchester carries an innate sense of anxiety — the feeling that at any moment, what was meant to be candy could just as easily be something far worse.


the device is readjusted for each purchase, based on the most current index value


once a coin is fed into the slot, the installation recalculates the new value before ejecting a piece of candy


during regular trading hours, the index value changes constantly


the vending machine speaks volumes about gun culture in the US today


zlatev engages in a meaningful commentary about the tumultuous relationship between america and its guns


although disabled, the simple image of the winchester carries an innate sense of anxiety

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: peter corboy | designboom

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