Altar/Engine is Tauba Auerbach’s artwork created by 3D printed nylon and plastic on table of aluminum, wood, and paint. It contains an array of 126 elements ranging in different sizes. From my perspective, the main content is the engine (the components around the center, which can be referents), and the sub-main content is the altar which may include the four white columns in the middle (signifier). The artwork describes a urbanized city that still has a few ancient elements in its culture, since the design of the elements is simple (in colors and structures) but modern (in shapes). The choice of materials (3D printing technique) can capture this idea as well.
It seems like the artist has studied engineering, as he may have travelled to lots of cities near water, since there are elements similar to bridges and islands. Auerbach may find inspirations on some interesting architecural buildings he sees around the world. For instance, the black seashells on the right down corner reminds me Sydney Opera House. The elements are divided into groups; in each group, the components are unified in colors, sizes, and shapes. The lines have high density, and I can conjecture that Auerbach’s brain is structured and organized, and he may be in a mentally intense working condition when constructing this work; in another words, he is so focused that he cannot separate his concentration to listen to music, or to do other things at the same time.
According to research, Auerbach was born in a family of theater designers in California, and she studied Visual Art in Stanford University. She is known for painting, weaving, sculptures and publishing. California is known for its high scientific development, and her family background may enable her to learn about engineering and art in her early stage of life. Her skills and techniques on weave painting, fold painting, grain painting can be illustrated on the elements, even though the work is constructed by 3D printing majorly.