The Intimacy of the Commandline

May 14th, 2014

I feed my data into the computer…I am the data-bank…My drama has not taken place. The script was lost. – Hamletmachine Heiner Müller (1977)


On a screen a cursor pulses. A mise-en-scène filled with everyday objects – desk, chair, and computer. Simultaneity of stillness, restriction and hard logic, tied with vastness, connection, the elaborate and the unknown. The audience watches and gradually becomes aware that it is brought into a room that has a connection with the beyond. The minimal, restrained typing opens to the incredible speed and intricate activity of the zeros and ones, of the packets sent and received and also to the rich conceptual bricolage of text being given form. Transfixed, enthralled, like little kids being told a story, following the typing, backspacing, retyping and re-phrasing, the audience, spellbound, sits silent and reads. Warm laughter erupts with typos and odd responses from bots. The rhythmic sound of amplified tapping fingers is soothing. Audience members lean in towards the stage, with baited breath, waiting for the next line, the next shift, the next contact with the software-construct spirit-voice in this code-based séance. MORE

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