Science Foundation Ireland

CONNECT’s Jessica Foley to exhibit in Rotterdam

CONNECT’s Writer in Residence, Dr Jessica Foley, has partnered with Gillian Lawler, Mark Cullen and Wendy Judge to present Travellator –  the tenth collective experiment of their evolving work – at the ONONO Gallery in Rotterdam.

Previews take place between 7.30pm and 9.30pm from 8 to 23 September at Wolphaertstraat 41C, 3082 BL Rotterdam. The Gallery is open by appointment from Monday to Saturday. (Contact

Jessica, together with Gillian, Mark and Wendy, form Difference Engine – an evolving exhibition and a model of artist-led curation. They have been working and touring together since 2009.

They were invited by artist/curator Tracy Hanna to install a context-sensitive exhibition at ONONO gallery – a 20th century apartment located in the Old Charlois district of Rotterdam. The event is kindly supported by Culture Ireland.

Difference Engine is noted for installations that respond to context. ONONO offers intriguing conditions that will place their work in a pseudo domestic sphere. This re-purposed apartment is an enticing context to develop new improvisations together and to open up conversations at close quarters through the force of compression. Travellator offers DE an intersection between the realities of artistic production in this contemporary city against the jostling of its own mechanisms as a group.

Their collective name is lifted from the 19th century work of Charles Babbage, the world’s first mechanical computational machine: The Difference Engine. Babbage was a cantankerous English mathematician, philosopher, inventor, mechanical engineer and notorious collaborator with the world’s first computer programmer, Lady Ada Lovelace.

Adopting the name Difference Engine as a kind of poetic motto for working together creatively, pragmatically and critically, they particularly enjoy Babbage’s aphorism that “Jamming is a form of Error Detection,” and take this as something of a slogan for collective experimentation and collaboration.

Difference Engine play with the idea of ‘jamming’ as both a way of making art and a way of life. In one sense ‘jamming’ signifies stasis, shock, or rupture, but in another sense it signifies change, growth, improvisation and invigoration between players. Their work combines model-making, painting, multi-media installation and performance. They want this project at ONONO to force a compression, ramping up the tensions inherent in creative collaboration. They expect some sparks to fly.

Previous exhibitions include, Accumulator III, Limerick City Gallery, 2013, Accumulator II, Oriel Myrrdin Gallery, Wales, 2013, Accumulator, West Cork Arts Centre, 2012, Manifestation V, SOMA Contemporary, Waterford, 2012, Manifestation IV, Wexford Arts Centre, 2012, Manifestation III, CSV Cultural Arts Center, New York, 2011, Manifestation II, ESB Sub-Station, Triskel Arts Centre and Black Mariah, Cork, 2010, Manifestation, Cake Contemporary Arts, Kildare, 2009.

Upcoming in 2018: Difference Engine: Altern-ator, HDLU, Zagreb

CONNECT is the world leading Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications. CONNECT is funded under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres Programme and is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund. We engage with over 35 companies including large multinationals, SMEs and start-ups. CONNECT brings together world-class expertise from ten Irish academic institutes to create a one-stop-shop for telecommunications research, development and innovation.

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