Baby, said Alice B. Toklas
Conceived and constructed by Hanne Tierney Engineering design by Oskar Strautmanis
The precise movements of two cloth figures, hula hoops, copper pipes, and fabric configurations are being controlled in full sight by a wood and Plexiglas machine/sculpture. An elaborate, visible, programmed robot-brain sends messages to the sculpture, whose levers literally pull the strings of the performing materials, creating the gestures and the dialogue.
The figures are G Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein; they arguing over the worth of Stein’s avant garde plays. As they debate, semi-abstract objects perform excerpts from two of Stein’s plays to ratify her conviction of her modernist genius. Eric Satie's music underscores the zeitgeist of the era.