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I n 1987, the Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss completed a film of what can best be described as a dysfunctional experiment carried out in an anonymous warehouse space.

Titled “The Way Things Go” (1986-87), the roughly 30-minute film comprises footage of a chain of ingeniously staged reactions involving an assortment of fuses, flammable liquids, planks, timber, tires, kettles, makeshift rolling devices and jerry-rigged catapults engaged in a continual exchange of kinetic energy.

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