Je sais

  • I know

    Antoine Schmitt, 1996.

    Installation with computer, dictionary, random algorithm. Not interactive.
    Designed to be videoprojected on a wall, or shown on a screen, in the context of an exhibition (online or off-line). The duration is infinite, there is no end.
    Created in 1996, as part of the series called Jalons 8/96.
Exhibited in the “Ouverture 3” exhibit, in the Château de Bionnay (FR), in July 1998.
    Sentences tell us “who knows what about whom”. The spectator wanders in the universe of knowledge inside an abstract intrigue between movie characters, and this forever.

    ” For this piece, I followed the same mind process as for the Pixel Blanc, that is a mind process consisting in going from the effect to the cause, in considering that what we see is the appearance of something more primal. But this time, I applied it to the universe of narration.
    I placed myself in the universe of stories, and I asked myself what caused the stories, that is what do we find when starting from a narration, we go up in time. I focalised on the epistemic relationships between the characters, that is the knowlege relationships: who knows what on who. If one goes back to the sources of stories, one very often finds this kind of relationships (someone knows that someone did something, someone else doesn’t know it but believes it, etc…).
    I tried to place an algorithms in this universe of epistemic relationships, and I programmed it so that it moves freely in this universe, constituted of all the sentences being combinations of I/you/he/she, knows/thinks/believes, potential negation, etc… This makes about 6000 sentences. In order to simplify the algorithm, I programmed it so that it moves randomly: it draws the sentences at random one after the other and displays them.
    One obtains thus a kind of abstraction of narration. The form (white text on black background, english subtitles) is related to the texts inserted in the silent movies, and helps sending us in the narration universe, using the minimum effects. “
    Antoine Schmitt – July 2000

    [This is a presentation text written in 1997. The CD-Rom has never been exhibited, even though some pieces that compose it have independently been. At the time I spoke of “infinite videos” for these peices, I guess that today one would speak of generative works. Also, I did no speak of algorithms even though they were of course already present, but I haden’t yet felt their importance… August 2000]
    “Jalons 8/96” is a compilation of 6 infinite video pieces, totally independant from each other. They are milestones and they represent my formal researches on time, destiny, narration and will. They usually feature an inner “simulated will”, embedded in time and/or a story. The spectator is constantly on the verge of being drawn in the representation world of which s/he sees the effect on screen. There seems to be a presence in the machine.
    This work deals with presence, and attempts to carress its essence. Presence, “being”, are embedded in time, in other’s projections, in stories. This is what these pieces try to speak about.
Each piece is independant from the others. They are “video” objects, and must be treated as such: hidden computer, no mouse or keyboard, video monitor alone, or better, projected on a screen in a dark room. Some have sound.
The videos are infinite, but not in loop. Time, and “random-based simulated will” play a fundamental role. Thus they should run non-stop.
It is possible to present any or all of the pieces.
    The pieces
”Je Sais” (I Know): One, two or three characters endlessly talk about who knows what.
”Trop Tard” (Too Late): Someone endlessly tries to communicate something important to us.
”Un Bit En Boite” (A Bit In A Box): A bit wanders in a box, and leaves tracks. (Became since Le Pixel Blanc)
”Psychose” (Psychosis): Someone endlessly tries to gring his parts together. (Became since La Figure Rouge)
”Autoportrait Sfumato” (Sfumato Autoportrait): Thoughts run through my mind.
”Autoportrait avec roue émotive” (Autoportrait with Emotive Wheel): Me and my instant.
    Antoine Schmitt