“Mark Pauline wanted to be a rebel — so he created his own corporation.
“I figured I’d form a company because those are the entities that really got away with anything,” he says. “Basically, I saw that corporations got away with anything, murder and everything on down. So I thought I was going to call it a company because that’s who the true outlaws are — corporations.”
However, Pauline’s Survival Research Laboratories isn’t a typical corporation. It doesn’t make any sort of commercially available product, nor does it serve any real, practical purpose. And while the Bay Area-based Pauline is fond of using the word “disrupt” to describe his work, he’s not aiming to do it in the Silicon Valley tech-startup sense of the word.
Instead, SRL delivers “dangerous and disturbing mechanical presentations since 1979,” according to the company line. A cross between sculptural art and theatrical performances, SRL builds truly terrifying multi-ton massive machines that Pauline wheels into public spaces, where they’ll do anything from shoot flamethrowers or destroy each other with giant claws.”