Generative translation between french and english... with music.
IN NEW YORK
We have grown used to thinking that our hyper-industrialized societies
were exclusively visual. It appears, however, that the advent of the
internet has actually allowed the text to dominate the image. Indeed,
search engines, the main means of access to data, are essentially
textual. Put simply, pictures do not exist on a numeric support unless
they bear a title, the criteria of the images classification. It is
exclusively thanks to titles, or text, that we can find pictures.
This domination feeds into the complex and historically stratified
relation between these two schemes of thought. There has always been
an interlace, or if you want a problem, a question, a no man's land
between the alpha-numeric and the iconographic. How can we use this
domination against itself? Is it possible to create a narration between
text and images? Can we rethink the relation between pictures and
text according to new modes? A generator that indefinitely produces
a textual fiction, inspired by the work of Alain Robbe-Grillet, "inventor"
of the nouveau roman. Some words of this fiction are sent to a search
engine that displays pictures. Does this produce an exact translation?
Is there a narrative congruence between the generated text and these
pictures that come from the cybernetic flux? What story is told by
this automatic and abnormal translation?
Netsleeping is a cooperative screensaver created by Gregory Chatonsky.
More and more connections are permanent (DSL/cable). It is an immense
change in our relation to the network: we don't connect anymore to
the Internet with a telephonic modem, the flux is always available,
information is just in waiting of navigation like an independent and
strange world. But what happens when you don't use your computer--does
it remain lit and hardback to the flux of the network? or when computers
fall asleep and aren't being used by anybody? Netsleeping tells this
story of sleep, abandonment, machines' a-instrumentality and passivity
in the flux.
One of the most widespread beliefs about the afterlife is that a person
can return to the world in another shape—as a ghost, spectre,
or wraith, the invisible double of the deceased taking over after
death. According to these beliefs, although ghosts are not of this
world and are invisible and intangible to the living, they are still
present and can reveal themselves through a medium. Revenances suggests
that the Web is such a medium: that is a space of communication between
the living and the dead. The project allows us to meet with ghosts,
to hold out our hands to these captive presences from the other world
and to join with
them there. We pass through a series of structures reduced to their
bare, skeletal outlines. In these empty rooms, shadowy images of remote
beings appear and disappear; we cannot make them stay still, or speak
with them. As the structures are embedded within each other, it is
impossible to turn back, reach a destination, or achieve any real
exchange. Caught in this non-place, we gradually realize that our
behaviour has become like that of the ghosts whose ephemeral presence
we have observed on the screen. The work incites reflection on the
spatial ambiguity of the Web, the (equally problematic) status of
the individual within it, and on the nature of the interchanges that
occur there. Inthis non-place, we move from one nowhere to another,
cut adrift from life, having interrupted our continuity in real space
to adopt a cyber-identity, a cyber-life. We communicate with other
people who are roaming through digital space as we are, self-effaced
from reality, disembodied and uprooted like us. In this universe,
the need for the other subsists, but it is always really the other?
This is precisely the question that the work raises. The ""death
of human contact"" brought about by the development of communications
technology does not mean the
death of contact but rather a certain kind of death of the human being,
bringing us to re-examine, at the very least, the inseparability of
mind-body and to look at dualism. It calls on us to conceive of relations
with others outside the limits of corporeal adherence, outside that
anchor, and to consider the shifts and transformations of being that
occur in cyberspace.