The Difference Engine

Multimedia.

The Difference Engine marks the bicentenary of the birth of Ada Lovelace (1815). Accomplice to the early computer pioneer, Charles Babbage, Lovelace is widely credited as being the first computer programmer.

The cogs and wheels of a working Difference Engine produce a pattern reminiscent of the DNA double helix. Projected footage of this twisting mechanism forms part of this installation’s scenography, invoking the common biology of both sexes. The percussive clicks and rattles produced by the machine—along with their gendered associations—inform the rhythmic and sonic content.