The Grace Machine: Of Turns, Wheels and Limbs

  • Lars Spuybroek


The following essay revolves around the notion of the figure and its relationship with grace. The figure, both object and event, is posited as what emerges in what is called ‘the gap between habit and inhabitation’. The essay is structured in three parts that each contribute to the argument that habit and inhabitation are part of the ancient structure of grace, which extends to many domains such as religion, economy and art, but above all to technology. The first part establishes the concept of grace within gift exchange where the aesthetics of gracefulness is not defined by gesture or action, but by the combination of a cyclical rhythm and the verticality of stance. The second part restructures the cycle as one of habit, linking our relationship with technology to gift exchange, while developing the central argument of grace as a machine. The final and third part expands the role of play and mimesis in the functioning of the grace machine while defining the gap between habit and inhabitation as a double gap, consisting of a temporal axis that leads from habit to the figure of grace, which again is suspended between object and field on the spatial axis.


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How to Cite
SPUYBROEK, Lars. The Grace Machine: Of Turns, Wheels and Limbs. FOOTPRINT, [S.l.], p. 7-32, apr. 2018. ISSN 1875-1490. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 17 july 2018. doi: