epidemic home  
dumb type
memorandum © Emmanuel Valette

Para la otra vez que lo mate . . . le prometo ese laberinto, que consta de una sola línea recta y que invisible, incesante.

(The next time I kill you . . . I promise you that labyrinth, consisting of a single line which is invisible and unceasing.)

La muerte y la brújula (Death and Compass) (1942) by Jose Luis Borges

now we freeze in front of a frozen cascade
like losing one's focus towards too fast phenomenon.
how can we survive in the frozen cascade of this world ?
how can we preserve our future memories?

— store/clear previous image

Once upon a timeline
— re-read / rebuild

Random memory scan
— cascade of white noise and REM-speed visual feedback

Cross channels to future recall
— fast-forward, normal, slow, reverse…all converging on now

Twilight in the forest of memory
— dance with self

After the heat
— where were you that night ?
— evidence is repeatedly eliminated

Flash-frozen cascade
— centrifuge
— break-up of personality into dataloops

On a clear day
— real mirage
— emerging to oceanic frieze exhausted of meanings

Tragedy of trajectory, shadowing time’s arrow in flight overhead, above no visible ground: dumb type’s performance / installation work memorandum is a non-elegy to recall, an impossible investigation into the unstable neurophilosophical events of memory itself.
The moment now —simultaneous beginning, end and midway point in the linear maze we know as the temporal world— remains a mystery. An ever accelerating spiral of desires and uncertainties, of emotion and intellect, of instinct and memory —the moment we try to bring these diverse elements into a tenuous balance, just where are we? What is the locus of knowing/doing?
The idea of "keeping" counterweights, the drive to "move on" is programmed into all our behaviours. An inertial momentum of unconscious retention that somehow powers the life-engine, which instinctively imagines things could always be better.
When we shut out time behind closed eyes, are we seeing snapshots in an on-going album of after-images or an instantaneous synaptic cascade of frozen accidents?
Who can say what memory was before photography existed?
What will come to replace cumulative direct experience as new technologies continue to overtake the thresholds of cognisance, the speed of human recognition?
We stand before the falling waters, waiting for the perfect moment to plunge in.
A homage to "love" caught in a frieze of frames-per-second. Illusions that would set us free of all circumstances. Desires that would place us front-and-centre in all events. Anxieties that keep us running to "get there"—but where?
How then to go on not-escaping the gravitational pull of remembrance even as the world bids to uproot all its yesterdays?
The safe and sheltering forest of memory is no more. Nostalgic reminiscences of happy days past, sweet dreams of future memories to come —all are poised without critical mass on the brink of never, swimming headlong down a horizon-less maze toward no vanishing point.

Let us meet under the waterfall.

dumb type, June 1999

dumb type's memorandum brings their unique audiovisual architectonics to an investigation of memory.

Combining elements of multimedia, dance and fragmented narrative, memorandum explores the hazy dimensions of recall that ground and disquietly erode our experience minute-by-minute.
The set is simple - almost an abstraction. A bare stage is bisected by an impenetrable but translucent wall, a screen onto which will be projected a barrage of images.
Amidst a cascade of white noise and REM-speed visual flashes, the performers break down the motions into displaced gestures in silhouette.
Penetrating deeper beneath the surface of moment, dancers drift in a slow sensual subconscious slidestep through the "forest of memory" haunted by voices and desires.

Unnoticed by waking reason, a lone witness/observer records evidence of the scene and is repeatedly eliminated.
Whereupon three figures cycle through three different accelerated subroutines of emotion, instinct and intellect, scarcely intersecting, each oblivious to the oblique "orbital" workings of the other.
Until finally, the dance emerges onto a primal oceanic frieze simultaneously flooded and exhausted of meanings.