A Town as a Novel: An Interactive and Generative Literary Installation in Urban Space
Balpe's essay details the conceptual background and implementation of his 2005 project Fictions d’Issy (Fictions of Issy) -- a generative narrative project installed in public spaces in the town of Issy, which included both narrative generated by Balpe's system and SMS contributions from passers-by.
What becomes of the narrative now that the novel is transported into an open space not only in one dimension that leads from a beginning to an end, but into all kinds of possibly available dimensions? What becomes of the time of narration? How can “meaning” be created in a text that comes from nowhere and does not go anywhere?
By way of the concept of generativity, computer technology ascribes a completely new capacity to the text: to be endless. If, however, from the human point of view the world is endless and inexhaustible, language is not; as soon as the world’s text ends, the world itself will reaffirm its presence; as soon as subjectivization wears off, objectivization will take over.