panneau à clapets

flaps | France 2oo8

“Going into the station, the noises of a forest. The rustling of leaves fills the space. A light glimmers, splutters rather — around the large board showing arrivals and departures. I notice that it is the 52,246 turning flaps which are causing the rhythmic rustle. They are looking for the letter, drrrt, the word, drrrrrrt, and finally display the sentence, drrrrrrrrrrrrt. “I am a cloud” is written there. A destination? Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrt. The rest… transports me… somewhere else.”

This device originally written for a railway station was shown for the first time — in its 
digital projected version — during the 2oo8 Nuit Blanche  at the Carré Baudoin and 
at Saint Blaise, in Paris. The virtual flaps, in the place of the train departures, gave information about inhabitants’ narratives: re-counting a movement, a journey in their own neighbourhood. The words appeared and disappeared beneath the clicking of the flaps. This distinctive noise was amplified and mingled with the rustling of the leaves of trees and bird song. The texts with their rhythmic drama arranged pauses, speeded up the movement in time with the fluctuation of the punctuation. This “theatre of words” unfurled and was renewed all through the night. This same device was borrowed as part of the “iconslip” performance at Chaumont.