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© silvie deutsch 2015

A Different Engine, 2014

Interactive installation with performance.
space: 18 feet high x 44 feet wide x 68 feet long

A Different Engine investigates weaving as the foundation of modern technology. Site specific to the Experimental Media Performance Lab, which is in itself a network of outlets, wires, and computers, this new work references the history of computing: a history which began shuttling in and out of the punched holes of automated looms. Jacquard’s loom, which gathered threads through punched cards to regulate complicated patterns, serves as a beginning for abstraction and investigation into the fundamental act of making. The holes in A Different Engine direct string to draw lines through space; mindless repetition amounts to something bigger than its parts. Deutsch’s instruments teeter between use and uselessness like kites that cannot fly.

This work hovers in a place between theater and art as performers and viewers interact with the sculptural scape. While a set is sutured to its play, the making of A Different Engine becomes its narrative. Viewers can wind, pluck, and touch the work. The machine-like objects become extensions of the body. The viewers become part of the machine, and both are in a constant state of flux.