Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Digital Steam

There's chap I meet occasionally at work who's fanatical about steam engines, especially on trains, and not at all interested in the digital age. When I asked him if he'd used the laptop he'd been given recently, his terse reply was, "No, I don't know where to put the coal in!" Well, now I can tell him! This is actually an art installation. It's creators wanted to bridge the old and new age of technology. The Steam Powered Internet Machine is the latest deeply eccentric project from Turner-prizewinning artist Jeremy Deller and his collaborator Alan Kane. "We were thinking about something that connects the industrial revolution and the digital revolution," said Deller. Kane added: "They are worlds apart but there's also a proximity. The steam age and the digital age are not so far apart." The artists say that the current era - when it is possible to have travelled by steam train as a child and be surfing the internet now - calls to mind JMW Turner's masterpiece, The Fighting Temeraire, which marks the moment when the great sailing ships gave way to steam. "We're at a certain point in British history, at the end of something," said Deller. For more info click here. I'm off to get the nutty slack....

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