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© silvie deutsch 2017

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62 Miles of Girl Talk, 2015
Interactive installation with performance

62 Miles of Girl Talk is an immersive sculptural sound installation that performs the act of processing the distance of 62 miles, which is our distance from the ground to the edge of the atmosphere. The 62-mile line is tightly strung from one wall of the room to the other, a gigantic harp that comes in and out of vision. This sculpture is hard to see from certain vantage points: it’s an entity that disappears from view from one space in the room, and then shimmers into vision from another. The piece’s sculptural impact as a large-scale, looming, architectural structure begs visitors for immediacy: to walk through it, to touch it, and interact with it, allowing the viewer to be present. The instrument invites musicians and viewers to pluck, bow, and strum its strings; a band of musicians composed a piece for the instrument as a performance. Accompanying these sounds are recordings of whispered conversations that chronicle and re-perform the transcribed conversations that resulted from the repetitive, laborious process of making the instrument with a team of young women. Through repetitive processes from spool winding to welding, the piece investigates a history of “women’s” work, and the instability and fluidity of gender as understood through fundamental acts of making. Gender and labor are as fluid and relational as a string: they only are given shape by their shifting attaching points.

Project Team:

Winders / Whisperers
Esther Choi
Bekah Martinez
Chitra Patel
Phonnyta Seng

Silvie’s String Band Boy Band
Andrew Anderson
Joe Barrios
John Beneke
Peter the Phenomenon
Brett Tafoya

Lighting Design
Martha Carter
Recorded sound piece:

Recording of band's performance: