One of the most head scratching projects of this year is 34650 Seconds by Evelin Brosi: it’s a book, a 3 day long reading and a sound poem of 9 hours, 37 minutes an 30 seconds on 11 CD’s.
What is 34650 Seconds about?
The book consists of a sequence of the 34650 unique permutations that can be formed with the letters ‘m’, ‘i’, ‘s’, ‘s’, ‘i’, ‘s’, ‘s’, ‘i’, ‘p’, ‘p’, ‘i’ in 3 columns. The first ‘S’ of each word follows a vertical S-shaped path through the publication.
Why do you want to present 34650 Seconds in 3 phases; as a book, a reading and a recording?
Thus I believe doing justice to the graphical, phonetical and formal material qualities of the poem.
How did you came up with the idea for 34650 Seconds?
Due to my obsession for counting in general as well as for counting as fundamentally a writing system and a potential literary device in particular.
Is the book of 34650 Seconds a book that is actually meant to be read? Or do you see it more as an art object?
It is my wish that the book will be read (a desire probably comparable to that of an accountant; the wish that his returns are examined on time).
The same for the reading: were there people who listened to the whole reading? Did you do the reading yourself?
I read the book out loud from beginning to end. It took me 3 days. Probably Koen Sels, Veronik Willems and Oscar Van Rompay have heard the entire reading. Not necessarily with rapt attention.
Do you see this project as radical? Maybe even as provocative?
Radical or provocative? Never gave it a thought.
Do you see 34650 Seconds as a kind of fluxus or dada performance?
Dada? Unlike the dadaists, I’m not an irrationalist. A possible similarity: maybe the work is – on a certain level – also a reaction to the incomprehensible violence of war. In this particular case: an insane global economical war. Who knows?
Fluxus? Plausible: mississippi is the name of a river.
Do you think there’s humor involved in all this?
In ‘Le Rire’ Henri Bergson defined the comical among other things as “du mécanique plaquée sur du vivant”. Starting from the preceding quote 34650 Seconds can unquestionably be understood as comical. Which, of course, in its turn is ridiculous.
Who are the artists that inspired you to do this kind of work? And who are the people from your own generation you feel related to? Because it reminds me of Henry Andersen, Remork or Peter Fengler.
I most certainly appreciate the work of the people you mention, yes.
This is a list of the initials of people and clusters of human beings that inspire me, written down during 300 seconds (in chronological order): TP, TT, WSB, BG, HB, DT, VC, KS, EJ, FK, SK, H, KA, TG, GP, DFW, FBB, WL, KG, RK, JJ, AS, HV, LC, TA, JA, JLA, JB, SB, KL, ADW, MB, WB, GDC, JLB, JC, IC, JD, BS, CB, VP, MD, JMHB, PM, AK, LD, RF, HF, SLW, J, WTS, OULIPO, EG, DH, JH, RJ, AJ, P, AJ, QK, FLL, EL, RL, MML, ETC.
– Joeri Bruyninckx
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