Forget sugar and carbs. A vending machine in Sydney’s CBD dispenses items that are better for your physical and mental health.
Called Intangible Goods, the one-of-a-kind vending machine is stocked with “conveniently packaged consumables for the mind.”
What this means is that, rather than selling chocolates and sodas, the installation offers bars and packets themed around purpose, friendship, bravery, reassurance, and other ‘treats’ for our emotional needs.
While the items don’t come with instant friends or a reassuring hug, they do come with inspiring sundries like notes, maps, prompts, and even origami sculptures.
“We live in a society where, for most of us, our physical needs are largely met, but often our emotional and psychological lives go unfed,” said Elizabeth Commandeur and Mark Starmach, the artists behind the installation.
“In this fun, interactive artwork, we hope people find an unexpected way to talk about the things we all need more of in our minds, and increase their awareness of an important cause.”
The machine was commissioned by the City of Sydney as part of its public art program, Art and About. It can be found around Martin Place, Pitt Street Mall, and Circular Quay from 26 March until 8 April.
All proceeds will go to beyondblue, the Mental Health Association NSW (WayAhead), and the Schizophrenia Research Institute at NeuRA.
“Art has the capacity to impact our community and break down stigma and isolation,” said Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore. “I hope this project encourages more people to think about mental health and to step up and help those in need.”