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current exhibits > The Emily Dickinson Difference Engine

Maine College of Art Front Window & Friedman Gallery
Portland, Maine, US.
July 21-23 & August 2, 2007

The Emily Dickinson Difference Engine combines phrases from Emily Dickinson's poetry with found objects. The phrases are called at random from a database and superimposed on different environments. This combination of words and things casts them both in a new light -- revealing the impenetrability of things, the malleability of words, and the feelings that humans associate with things and words.

There is a performance where the artist sits in the middle of a large table and arranges objects improvisationally to subjectively illustrate the phrases as they appear on the table. Each performance lasts three hours.

There is an installation in which the phrases appear on a large table in Emily Dickinson's handwriting, superimposed on top of each other to create hybrid phrases. The large table is interspersed with found objects from the performance. Also in the installation, there is a second smaller table where the phrases in Emily's handwriting appear on a screen embedded in the table. Visitors are invited to place their own objects (or objects from the large table) on the screen above the phrases.

Click on the links to the right to view video and still image documentation of the performance and the installation. Also included is the actual text animation code for the large table and the small table in the installation, and the font of Emily's handwriting. Documentation of the finding & archiving of some of the things is also included.

- Curt Cloninger, 2007

A Performance

An Installation

The Words Themselves

The Things Themselves