Typomatic

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Since January 2013, ALIS performing arts company, Serge Bouchardon and Luc Dall'Armellina, researchers and authors, and some students from the University of Technology of Compiègne have been actively involved in a research on the Poésie à 2 mi-mots (we could say in english : Two Half-Words Poetry or Between the lines Poetry, or Along the Lines Poetry or Cutting Edge Poetry...). This specific Poetry is an artistic practice based on special games with the shapes of letters, invented by Pierre Fourny (from ALIS). Pierre Fourny cuts words horizontally, peels them, reverses them. He shows words emerging from other words. Given than the human brain cannot devote itself to such a graphic and linguistic computational exercise, Pierre Fourny imagined a program to do so, at the very beginning of 2000. Since, the Poésie à 2 mi-mots has inspired shows, exhibitions, films, books, produced by ALIS and its partners, most of the time in a kind of handmaking way (using papers, objects, videos), making the audience forget that software was being used. In 2013, the idea was to develop the Poésie à 2 mi-mots using digital media. This project was named Separation. On the road, the e-Poetry Festival in London (2013) and the ELO events in Paris (2013) and in Milwaukee (2014) have been wonderful places of experimentation and of inspiring meetings. Even if we could appreciate some interesting effects thanks to new digital developments, the pleasure to get a little piece of paper with a Cutting Edge Poem written on it was still the higher experience we get from this Poetry and the strongest demand expressed by the people we met. So here we are: the end of digital poetry is paper! Joined by Guillaume Jacquemin from Buzzing Light (a young interactive design studio), the Separation team plays with the idea of going “back to paper”. In the context of Bergen, we offer to install Typomatic in public space, inspired by the photo booth / FotoAutomater. Thus, you enter the photo booth. You listen to and look at the instructions inside (here a performance of Cutting Edge Poetry by the Separation team). You adjust the stool, you write your own Cutting Edge Poem which you get outside of the booth (exactly like ID pictures). And you can keep it or leave it and why not, start again. The scenography of the Typomatic is the same as the well-known process to get a new picture for a driving license renewal, or an ID card, student card, season ticket, visas, etc, in a photo booth. This kind of installation corresponds well to ALIS works and its Cutting Edge Poetry… with the quest for the most minimalist spectacular situation, a single framework, and the reference to psychoanalysis linked to the photo booth and ID photos. This installation and performance deal with the "old" relations between art and machine, when those relations are made of curiosity and humor/misappropriation. As soon as the photo booth appeared, the Surrealists played with it!

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Jill Walker Rettberg