SIMON LEWANDOWSKI

Copyright 2009

The ReBabeliser

ROOTless festival, Hull 1997
LUX Gallery, Hoxton Square London 1998

see also: Rhizome

Its sole function is to perform the act of walking in order to discharge and redeem the futile wanderlust of Humanity.
Its gait is a crude parody of ours,it can only stumble blindly forward or, in equal panic, retreat back into whatever it was trying to flee from. Unhindered, though, it will keep on until its reserves of power are exhausted.
It has no intelligence, constructs no model of the world for itself to follow it just reacts to whatever it encounters by fleeing form it or ignoring it.
Its purpose is to be futile, its baggage is a burden of significance.

The ReBabeliser is a further burden for the Stumbling Machine to carry; it translates the motion of the Stumbling Machine into an ursprache of its own devising - from the discarded remains of many languages it reassembles speech in a language which is no language but is the Root of every language.
As the Stumbling Machine's wanderings seek to redeem Humanity's rootlessness, so the ReBabeliser tries to atone for Babel and the Crime of Poetry.

This was the first of a number of Walking Machines*; crude, ambulant sculptures, exhibiting limited behaviours which are a mechanised parody of the simplest elements of Artificial Intelligence. The ReBabeliser (1997/8 Hull and London) had a recombinant sound generator operated by its own motion - a record deck mounted on the machine played a disc of raw, random syllables and every time the machine moved the tone arm would skip, unpredictably, to another part of the record. The result occasionally approached an uncanny concrete poetry...

*The Vicious Rural Walking Machine (1999, Grizedale Forest) crawled painfully through the woods and lashed out at anyone approaching it.