Because neither the book nor the sand has any beginning or end - Eastern Bloc - 03/04/2014

Because neither the book nor the sand has any beginning or end

Lengh – 30 minutes

In collaboration with Alain Lefebvre


'' If you really examine a device that you might buy, like a filter or a small mixer, and you actually try to experience its capabilities, you have to push it, to ask it to do something that it's incapable of doing. When you make those experiments you find out that unique things are happening because you are influencing the electronics. ''[1]



Technical description

Visual diptych, using minimal and hybrid imagery from 16mm found-footage. This performance is a demonstration of a primitive & impulsive process, live visual transformation where the two images, in loop, are being diffused in psychedelic and stroboscopic manners.


Right projector

A 16mm loop, taken from found footage material, is being projected on a wall where a video camera is capturing it and transferred onto an analogue video mixer. On the 16mm projector, sand paper is placed in order to slowly destroy the film loop.


Left projector

A Tv monitor is displaying the footage that the video camera is capturing. Another video camera is filming the Tv monitor in order to create video feedback.


Accessible imagery for both projectors

A VHS tape in a VCR, with the same visual component, is opened and is offering its inner components in order for the artist to interact with them and creates analogues glitches and destroying the magnetic tape. All the apparatus are going to be plugged in with contact microphones in order to amplify all the sounds that come from them and create a heavy soundscape.


pg_117211396718361.jpgGuillaume Vallée


pg_117221396718405.jpgAlain Lefebvre



This performance has been strongly inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’s short story The book of sand[2] and his proposed thoughts on infinity within the storyline. In the story, a man becomes mentally hill after he got a book by a stranger called The book of sand; It doesn’t have any beginning or end. I want to place the viewers in a similar state of mind while performing the piece with Alain Lefebvre and where they have to undergo what’s happening in front of them. The main idea is to put forward the physical presence of the artist and access it in relation with the hybridity of film and video. In my practice, I constantly question the physical presence of the artist through his work. Working without any intermediate element, directly on a medium, allows the artist to leave a pure physical trace on it. With camera-less film techniques, it is possible to provoke accidents that you can use afterward in future projects. My recent performance work makes me analyse this subject and create new ways of representing myself within my imagery. The difference here is the use of an intermediate element allowing me to channel the chaotic nature instability of the imagery. The analogue video mixer allows a certain control over the visual capitations and can act as a moderator under my precise commands. All the images from the performance come from accidents and direct interventions and the moderator allows me to control them as I wish- either directly in some cases, or not in others, by leaving behind some elements randomly. In regards of the sound work of Alain Lefebvre, we can ask ourselves who’s creating the sound and the images? Is it the artist who places his apparatus where he chooses or is it the apparatus themselves, and the artist is only capturing what the machine is then creating? This creation of sound mimics my creation of images- I put into practice a number of devices and

when those are running, what ultimately remains to be the role of the artist? Does the artist control the machine or is it the other way round?


The machines are running under autonomous circumstances, transforming slowly both the sound and image material with sand paper, video feedback and contact microphones. The idea is to retain as much as is possible of these material elements. By relying on the working of machinery in order to create this work, a slow deterioration of the image begins to happen. It brings to life a new state of tactility, which possesses its own interesting facets relying on the ephemerality of media. To make a link with my single channel work, there’s a similar inspiration from the American structuralist movement; the performance is making the use of all his main characteristics, ''(...) it's fixed camera position (fixed frame from the viewer's perspective), the flicker effect, loop printing and rephotographny off the screen.''[3]. By doing that, its almost if the piece itself can be considered a live structuralist work.


Collaborative creative process

The creative process is a constant exploration of relations between material and immaterial aspect of the mediums, a research of multiple processes and an evolution of the artistic practice within efficient collaborations. The amplified sounds are in constant dialogue with the decaying images. It is mainly a creative process based on primitivism of the techniques and on the contrast between

the minimal and embellished aspects of it.


Excerpt (1)


Excerpt (2)


[1] Interview with David Tudor by Teddy Hultberg in Dusseldorf May 17, 18 1988

[2] BORGES Jorge Luis, Le livre de sable, Édition Gallimard, 1978

[3]   A DAMS SITNEY, P., Visionary Film; The American Avant-Garde, 1943-2000, Third Edition, Oxford University Press, 2002, p.348