How to Build a Domino Installation

Domino is a flat, thumb-sized rectangular block the face of which is divided into two parts, each either blank or bearing from one to six pips or dots: 28 such pieces form a complete set. A domino may be used as the basis for a variety of games played by matching the ends of pieces or laying them down in lines and angular patterns. The most well-known domino game is called Draw-a-Domino, in which players draw a tile from a boneyard, choose the place to play it, and then make the first move. The game continues until one player wins by playing all of his or her tiles, or until the players can no longer make moves. The rules of various domino games vary, but most have similar or identical basic rules. A domino has a line across its middle to divide it visually into two squares, or ends, with the value on each end, which is typically indicated by numbers from 1 to 6, displayed as dots or spots on both sides of the domino. Depending on the particular game being played, the values of the ends may be combined to determine a ranking or weight; a domino with more pips has a higher rank than a domino with fewer pips. Hevesh creates her amazing domino installations using a variation on the engineering-design process. She starts by considering the theme or purpose of an installation and brainstorms images that might be associated with it. From there, she draws a rough sketch of what she wants to build. Once she has a general idea of what she’s going to do, she uses a variety of tools—including a drill press, radial arm saw, belt sander, and welder—to turn her sketch into reality. While many people use dominoes to enjoy themselves, some play them for competitive reasons. This competition can take the form of building complex and imaginative domino reactions in front of a live audience, or it can be a game of putting a line of dominoes up against another person and seeing who can knock them down first. The word “domino” has an interesting history. It appears to have been coined in France in the late 1750s, and it originally referred to a garment worn by priests over their surplices. The term soon came to describe the black domino pieces that contrasted with their ivory faces, and later also denoted a hooded cloak worn by carnival revelers during a masquerade or masked ball. In writing, the domino effect is a technique that allows authors to show what happens next by describing an event or action that triggers a series of events or actions. This can be helpful in scenes that run counter to what most readers think is logical or that make a character act immorally. In order to use this strategy effectively, authors must provide enough logic and motivation for the protagonist to justify the immoral behavior. Without that, the reader will quickly lose interest.