The Word Beyond Speech

The Word Beyond Speech is an interactive text on screen taking as its starting point the literary thriller 53 jours: ( un R est un M qui se P le L de la R) by the OuLiPo author Georges Perec, left unfinished at the time of the author's death in 1982 and subsequently published in note form.

This screenwork offers fragmentary variations and alternatives to Stendhal's definition of the Novel as "un roman est un miroir qui se promène le long de la rue" ranging, for example, from the rearrangement of letters in the way used by Walter Abish (In the Future Perfect) to a single ellipsis to the statement that "a Neurosis is a Maladjustment that one Heightens to Lyricism."

The work celebrates being multiple without subject: the geography of relations as external to ideas. The assemblage is multi-directional, abrupt and fragile; at its simplest level it engages in dualistic performance on a level plane of organisation: code-territory. In its molecular state it builds segment upon segment in a rush which leads to a complex structure (or the "micro-fascism of obscurantism" or the "black hole of unpreparedness").

The Word Beyond Speech II

I worked with veteran text artist Jeff Instone for the second time on this residency at the (now defunct) Camerawork gallery in Bethnal Green.

It's still on Backspace and you can view it at

Version 1: Exhibited at Mediopolis, Berlin 1995, Parole Literature Festival, Vienna, 1995, Pandemonium, ICA, London 1996

Version 2: Exhibited at Transmediale, Berlin 1997