During the 1982 exhibition at Theo Portnoy Gallery in New York, a Dutch acquaintance, Mathijs Teunissen Van Manen, came from Amsterdam to visit New York and he saw Zynsky’s show. Curious about how Zynsky made her work—because he had never seen glass treated that way—Van Manen went to the New York Experimental Glass Workshop to see what she was up to. “I had two teams of people pulling thread all afternoon for me,” Zynsky recalls. “Mathijs took one look at this, shook his head, and said, ‘This is medieval!’” Within 24 hours, Van Manen had constructed a contraption that fed a glass rod through a flame, turning it into a glass thread. Over the next few years, Zynsky and Van Manen collaborated on the development of the glass thread-pulling machine. Now incorporating sophisticated electronics and custom software, these unique machines, which make thread in a manner not unlike how glass optical fiber is made, are still used by Zynsky. African Dream was created using the finer glass threads produced by the glass thread-pulling machine.