Click on one of the colored boxes to see an enlargement.

The poster image is Alcandre’s machine, a floating, violent, impersonal, and powerfully emotional art-generator. (Alcandre is the magician in the play; I played him in this production.) It has a sort of logic: A human heart goes in the top; it is squeezed, crushed, and cooked, slowly, in the large pressure cooker. Emotions boil off first; they are routed to the distillery. Water is siphoned off for the paper mill. What’s left is muscle, gristle, and fat, and the squeezer and sifter separate these. The fat is piped away and burned -- that’s what heats the cooker. The gristle is sifted off; it’s the pulp material used to make paper. The muscle slips along a chute into the motor (magic), a closed sphere, the source of power for the whole machine. The water and gristle are stirred and pressed by the paper mill into an endless scroll, and the mechanical hand writes on that scroll -- it’s writing a play -- with ink made from regulated emotion. The motor must run clean or the machine will fail: its exhaust, wrung-out heart muscle, is the poster’s black background.

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Eddie Kohler


   The heart entering the machine // top

   The pressure cooker, separator and distillery // top

   The motor that runs the machine // top

   The paper mill, the hand, and the scroll // top

   The motor’s exhaust is the black background // top
    The heart The distillery The exhaust The hand The motor