A la recherche du temps perdu / In Search Of Lost Time is a performance by Karl Heinz Jeron and Valie Djordjevic.
Using the electronic versions of the first three parts of Marcel Proust's masterpiece from Project Gutenberg, the performers are reading the machine-code version of the novel. The text is first deconstructed into its individual parts - the letter and characters - which in turn are decoded into the Ascii-code. Each letter is represented by an individual sequence of signs, consisting of zeros and ones.
In a mock laboratory, one performer is reading the zeros, the second person reads the ones. A third person embodies the CPU (the Central Processing Unit): she interprets the zeros and ones with the aid of an ASCII allocation table, cuts out the corresponding letter from the prepared sheets and turns it over to a fourth performer, Display, who sticks it onto the wall panel.
After eight hours of performance about 250 characters can be processed.
Now this is my idea of a great project. La Recherche du Temps Perdu used to be my favourite book. I read parts of it over and over again. That was such a long time ago and i'm really happy that some people out there have found a way to catapult classical French litreature into the realm of new media art.
Photo: Martin Howse from the images of the performance in London.
Originally posted on we make money not art by Rhizome