new-york

“A Very, Very Long Cat”

Wallspace

Samuel Morse’s technology might be a relic, but the etymological basis of telegraphy still obtains (from the Greek, it literally means “writing from afar”). Indeed, if anything, one can—as “A Very, Very Long Cat” did—argue that, specific hardware of dots and dashes aside, ideas of transfer are now omnipresent, shaped by e-mail, social networks, and other technological and cultural shifts. Speaking of the proliferation of radio in his own time, Albert Einstein described communication devoid of physical support: “You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: You send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.” Taking this quip as the basis for the show’s title, Wallspace’s Jane Hait brought together

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