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Scott Rettberg
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Sous terre is an order of the RATP for the celebration of the centenary of the Parisian subway in the year 2000. Under ground, the subway, his memory, his internal organization, his/her/its history. His tunnels, of travelers that pass and iron. All one life that we forget under streets. The subway is useful, it serves to go from a point to another, to move without being confronted to the urban chaos. It is another city, but of passages, of flux, of cuts,: a network. Between time, in the displacement, it is necessary to kill the time, not to feel the surrounding intensity, all these people that us meet without recognizing them, the out-flow of the maintaining chanted by the scrolling of stations. To the difference of the other means of transportation the subway doesn't ask for no attention of travelers as for the taken road. One only waits. The subway requires to face the other travelers then, to look at them while waiting to arrive to destination. Travelers are held seated or standing. Some watch on the right, on the left, of others no. A woman reads a book, a man a newspaper, of others merely the emptiness. One hears machines, grindings and rubbings, opening and closing of doors. A teenager rises to let his room with a small smile. And then a pregnant woman or an old man . There is very community, but only of passages, of suspends, of waiting, of a point to another. I imagine that active to his work according to the same journey since ten years someone must cross the same people every day in the underground, and ever to address them the speech. And yet they know themselves, without recognizing themselves. It is this anonymity that is under our feet. It is this anonymity of oddness and the minority that is the memory of the world. The subway is a network, as Internet, as our memory. Near and at a time distant of him. Distance of the subway that is marked by history, the one of the last century and his utopias. Proximity with Internet, relations between beings, there, under ground, here in the binary. Network of a silence and a possibility of meeting between travelers. We are passage on the network, we go from a place to another and we are several, to different places of the planet, to be connected at the same time to the same site. The last subway passed, one closes grids. Another life begins. One cleans, one repairs, one improves, one installs during all night long so that the following day takes place without tear for travelers, that all functions perfectly, that this day, this other is now forgotten and that we can pass a place to another while forgetting the distance that separates us.(Source: Author's description from the Boston Cyberarts Festival)