If you haven’t figured it out yet, plot is fueled by its own internal folie. And yet we are perfectly serious about this folie, case in point our new pop song « L’ôde au lent » (cf. attached mp3). For some reason, I have a strange feeling that we will be joining Zlad! for the honor of this year’s Eurovision-reject, but at least our song has the originality of combining a manifesto on slow real-time machines with Bataille’s infamous quote on sex: « l’acte sexuel est dans le temps ce que le tigre est dans l’espace » (de La part maudite, 1949). Hey, you need a catchy chorus, right?
I actually had very little to do with this song other than (pitiful) backing vocals. Although it was recorded on the final day of the three-day « Samedi Plot » (i.e. « Plot Saturday »), it was actually written on a beautiful jetty on the Mediterranian two days before. Keeping with tradition, this year’s Saturday Plot took three days to complete (Wednesday + Thursday + Friday), and I was only able to participate in the final day which took place at the amazing artist’s collective Cap15 in Marseille. This was unfortunate, as the participating plotters created an impressive roster of inventions, interventions, itineraries (and pop songs) throughout the entire 3-day Plot Saturday.
Eddy Godeberge and Fabrice Gallis, for example, were inspired by Bataille’s notion of expenditure and prototyped several interesting mechanisms for generating power via lost energy: pistons that expand when frozen, a contraption for generating electricity from the lateral movements of a car going bumpity-bump on a country road (enough at least to play an mp3 walkman), circuits that open and close by collecting rainfall… One of the ideas here being that slow real-time systems will eventually be designed and built using organic materials, rather than silicon and copper. Algorithmic machines built with plants, waterflow, moss, geological stratatification, but also children running in a parc, soccer matches, workers readjusting their seats during a boring meeting, sexual acts of various sorts, etc.
In continuation with Plot explorations in (dis/continuous) space and time, we beta-tested my follow-up to the crypt; this time a plug-in for Firefox I’m finishing up right now entitled the abstractmachine:synchronizer. It‘s already working pretty well, and I’ll post more here when I’m finished with the beta testing period. Some of the plotters asked me how to program for Firefox; here’s (in my opinion) the best place to start: Firefox Toolbar Tutorial from Born Geek.
We were also joined (for Saturday Plot song + dance) by Wolf Ka (i.e. res_publica) who came down from Paris for a few days to visit the Atelier Hypermédia and work on his next project. More on Wolf later when he’s done, but you can begin by checking out this beautiful danse performance he choregraphed with lab_au entitled « man in (e)space » (photos + movie).
And finally, Caroline Duchatelet showed us a series of architectural lightworks that are spatially and temporally just at the edge of imperception. For this work, she designed a lighting system with Fabrice and Guillaume which allows her to modulate flourescent tubes over infinitely prolonged periods.
You can find more mp3’s over at the Samedi Plot entry on http://www.plotseme.net. For example, these recordings (ex: les petites têtes, fantomas, naine blanche, and more…) from Blaise Cendrars which (thanks to a PureData patch) called us up periodically on our cellphones. Or you can listen to Fabrice describing a trip plotters took on the first day of Saturday along the Medditerranian coast via the Petit train de la côte bleu (highly recommended, the train-ride itself that is, but also hanging out with Fabrice on a regional mediteranian train).