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Alain-Martin Richard

L'atopie textuelle est une cause qui se perd

Alain-Martin Richard, L'atopie textuelle est une cause qui se perd (2001)
Alain-Martin Richard's latest project, in collaboration with Martin Mainguy, is called L'Atopie textuelle est une cause qui se perd. This poetic game involves circulating pieces of a sculptural object and tracking them on the Web. A giant text engraved in steel is cut apart and its pieces circulated worldwide. On the back of each piece is a URL that urges participants to contribute to the Web site and help track the different histories of each individual piece. Participants are also encouraged to submit images, sounds and texts to the site, which is a poetic work in itself. The ultimate goal is to bring all the pieces of the sculpture back together.

"L'Atopie textuelle est une cause qui se perd is an art project that manifests itself on two levels of reality. The entire project gravitates around the existence of text (language) and the desire to see it collectively concretized in a particular space. The project rests on two levels of reality only one of which is fixed - and resolutely monumental." (1)

The Web site is a crucial component of the work since it is the location where the pieces are tracked and their individual geographical histories written. The voyages of the pieces are visually mapped and this "visual poetry" transformed into "sound poems." (2) Through the Web site, the sonic voyage of the sculpture's fragmented pieces are heard thanks to sound composed by Jocelyn Robert from Avatar. A computer program, or a sort of database, generates the images from each piece's voyage.

Angela Plohman © 2004 FDL

(1) Project proposal submitted to the Daniel Langlois Foundation, [author's translation] (January 31, 2000): 3.

(2) Ibid 12-13.