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Alexandra Saemmer
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Because of the operating systems, the software and the ever changing speed of computers, the digital device may sometimes affect the author’s artistic project. In Tramway, this instability of the device is metaphorised on the surface of the screen; and it is thematised in the relationship between the figures of "manipulation" and the manipulable textual context.In this work, I tried to compose with the strange temporal thickness of certain events. Ten years later, an event in my life took this paradoxical thickness: My mother and I had to make a gesture that always seems so solemn and natural in movies, i.e. close the eyes of my father who had just died. My mother finally did it, but in a way I managed to describe only once; also because she partially failed. This scene had remained an open wound - like a fiery eye I could neither close nor keep open.After a few exploratory clicks in Tramway, a scrolling text appears: it describes the traumatic scene. On most standard computers, it is possible to decipher the text. But the stream of words will become undecipherable when displayed on more powerful computers. The "lability" of the digital device is thus used to reflect on the possible forgetting of this scene. The result of this process is both reassuring and unbearable.Tramway therefore proposes a second definition of mourning and oblivion, based on the persistence of memory. Pop-ups "invade" the screen. The reader tries to close these windows, but others keep on popping up. Five narrative threads revolve around the traumatic event without ever thematising it. Throughout their arduous interactions, readers finally understand that no manipulation of the digital interface will ever allow them to "accomplish" the frozen gesture described in the traumatic scene.