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»Red Dice/Des Chiffres«
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© Bill Seaman


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Archive of Digital Art (ADA). “Bill Seaman - »Red Dice/Des Chiffres«”. (retrieved 2020-29-09). @online{ADAartistprofile, author = {Archive of Digital Art (ADA)}, title = {Bill Seaman - »Red Dice/Des Chiffres«}, url = {}, urldate = {retrieved 2020-29-09}
Descriptions & Essays
Red Dice / Des Chiffré (2000) was commissioned by the Canadian National Gallery and is now in their permanent collection. Seaman again worked with Chris Ziegler on the programming of the work. The work presents a text by the Poet Stéphane Mallarmé - Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard, Dice Thrown Never Will Annul Chance, and an interactive audio/visual meta-text by Seaman. Large scale projections of both the interface and the visual portion of Seaman's audio/visual work are presented. The piece enables the user to view and listen to Mallarmé's text through the use of a Pen/Wacom tablet interface. When the pen touches on words, they are subsequently spoken. Small video icons are called up that register the potential to trigger related segments of an audio/visual text by Seaman. The work also incorporates a "Recombinant" section enabling the user to re-order Seaman's video, generate a new soundtrack by choosing from 144 different musical sections - layering up to seven at a time, as well as recombine Seaman's texts via this pen interface. The work functions as a companion work to Passage Sets / One Pulls Pivots at the Tip of the Tongue which was also influenced by the Mallarmé text.
Bill Seaman 04-10-2020
Red Dice / Des Chiffré (2000) was commissioned by the Canadian National Gallery and is now in their permanent collection. Seaman again worked with Chris Ziegler on the programming / design of the work. The work presents a text by the Poet Stéphane Mallarmé - Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard, Dice Thrown Never Will Annul Chance, and an interactive audio/visual meta-text by Seaman. Large scale projections of both the interface and the visual portion of Seaman's audio/visual work are presented. The piece enables the user to view and listen to Mallarmé's text through the use of a Pen/Wacom tablet interface. When the pen touches on words, they are subsequently spoken. Small video icons are called up that register the potential to trigger related segments of an audio/visual text by Seaman. The work also incorporates a "Recombinant" section enabling the user to re-order Seaman's video, generate a new soundtrack by choosing from 144 different musical sections - layering up to seven at a time, as well as recombine Seaman's texts via this pen interface. The work functions as a companion work to Passage Sets / One Pulls Pivots at the Tip of the Tongue which was also influenced by the Mallarmé text.

Red Dice - Interactive Functionality

Menu #1

1) navigate through the Mallarme text by touching words - text is spoken, also move up or down through pages by touching the edge of the page // dissolve through

a) when the word is touched it is spoken (button to choose French or English mode -- F/E

b) when the word is touched within a particular vicinity (1-72 vicinities)

then a video icon (very small moving quicktime movie) appears next to the Mallarmé.

c) if the video icon is touched then a segment of video with audio and text is triggered to play

d) the (s) icon triggers the entire edit of sequences called up by touching different parts of the Mallarmé text -- thus it plays down the sequence of icons chosen by touching words

[a vuser can move anywhere through the text to call up these segment icons. (s) icon plays them back. Limit based on size of icon?

d) RECOMBINANT Button -- link to recombinant menus

e) linear slider to "play" or drive through video at multiple speeds of pause/slow/regular/fast/scan -- both backward and forward.

f) credits

Menu #2


Menu enables a series of different kinds of recombinant functions

Recombinant video (sound and image) - Grid 12 x 6

a) the person can touch video icons and the segment will playback from videodisc

1) a sequence of the icons touched will be called up at the bottom

2) (s) button will play back this sequence

3) would be nice to all of these as mini playing quicktime movies - when touched they call up video/audio from the videodisc

Recombinant audio (72 x 1 second modules)

1) any button touched starts a loop

2) any additional buttons touched adds loops

3) once the limit of ? sounds is reached the first loop is removed and the new loop is played

Recombinant Text

1) the vuser chooses from the series of 72 icons

2) as they choose a series of moving quicktime icons play across the bottom of the screen. This could be a (t) button [next to the (s) [video sequence button]

3) thus the viewer could either see the playback of the video by touching (s)

or could generate a layered overlay of the texts in Director -- on the mac

This could be facilitated with timed random word placement.

The spoken texts could also be overlayed? - or the text is spoken when the icon is chosen?

4) The vuser chooses F/E [french or english]

5) A small icon leads back to the Mallarmé text.

6) the same video 'slider" icon is on the right -- linear slider to "play" or drive through video at multiple speeds of pause/slow/regular/fast/scan -- both backward and forward.


The linear video will be 15 minutes, with two similar versions - one french and one in english or 30 minutes with a soundtrack of French or english being switched on using the 2 digital / and 2 analogue tracks on the videodisc.

Poetic Texts

Stéphane Mallarmé
Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard
Dice Thrown Never Will Annul Chance
Meta text by Seaman

[Red Dice/Re-Dice/Red Ice/Read Dice] [Dés chiffrés/Déchiffrés/Redéchiffrés]

1 1
---------------------------------- ---------------------------------------
surfaces surfaces
the signature of cyphers et signature des cryptogrammes
re?cast re-manier
chance le hasard
???????????????????????????????????- --------------------------------------
2 2
???????????????????????????????????? -------------------------------------
ever sever severe ajour toujours à jour
the never meaning thrown à jamais relancé le sens
ever the reviver toujours de retour
n dimentional à n dimensions

the bridge le regard
has eyes est une passerelle
???????????????????????????????????? ---------------------------------------
3 3
Even when cast Quand bien même lancé
????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------
modeled modelage
re?cast et remaniement
recombinant codes les codes recombinants

energy state encryption encodage d’états énergétiques

null paths chemins nuls
intervals of light intervalles de lumière

alternating alternance
circulations des circulations
????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------
4 4
in eternal circumstances dans des circonstances
????????????????????????------------ ---------------------------------------
infinite regress régression infinie
timeless hands manœuvres intemporelles
?????????????????????????????? -------------------------------
5 5
???????????????????????????????????????? -------------------------------
luminous realm of transfer royaume lumineux du transfert

refracting and reflecting réfléchit et réfracte
the folding cypher le crytogramme reployé
self?reflexive en réfléxivité

nested niché

broken brisé

under sous
the water mirror la pression du miroir
pressure du dessous de la mer

configurations gel
frozen des configurations

behaviour of light le comportement de la lumière
breathing of life le souffle de la vie

urgency urgence

relative la trame
fabric of relative
alternate des fils
threads de rechange

from collapsed tirés
floating des flottantes architectures
field de champs
architectures effondrées

the navigator le navigateur
generates choisit
a slant on the glide cycle l’angle du cycle d’approche

genetic acrostics acrostiches génétiques

???????????????????????????????????? -------------------------------
6 6

that que

the Abysm l’Abîme
?????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------
the folding engine of perception la machine reployée de la perception
derives engendre
its own collapse son propre effondrement

sinking et coule
in its own sound dans son propre bruit
????????????????????????????????????? -------------------------------------
7 7
blanched blanchi
becalmed étale
furious furieux
under an inclination sous une inclinaison
planes desperately plane désespérément
a wing d’aile
its own la sienne
already fallen back from incapacity to gain flight par avance retombée d’un mal à dresser le vol
and covering the spurtings et couvrant les jaillissements
cutting off the surges coupant au ras les bonds
????????????????????????????????????????? ----------------------------------------------
shunting reflections réflexions bifurquées
energy state translation transmutation d’états énergétiques
conveyor convoyeur
of sensual de découverte
exposure sensuelle

analytical engine la machine analytique
woven le tissage lumineux
words of light des mots

the vehicle le vecteur
of the engine de la machine
floats the code fait flotter le code
as it oscillates alors qu’il oscille
over and through par et au-delà

liquid des armatures

apparition en liquides

armatures apparitions

RED DÉCHIFFREMENT ?????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------
8 8
most inwardly resumes très à l’intérieur résume
??????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------
introspective glide trajet introspectif
internal gravity intime gravité
sinking to and from enfoncement
a shifting center vers et par un centre en déplacement
???????????????????????????????????????? ---------------------------------
9 9
the shadow buried in the deep l’ombre enfouie dans la profondeur
/by this alternative sail /par cette voile alternative
[**his is one long line]
????????????????????????????????????????? -------------------------------------------
Anti?function alt.shadow anti-fonction alt-ombre
thought la machine
engine à penser
layered depths of code les profondeurs stratifiées du code
?????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------------
10 10
to the point of adapting jusqu’adapter
to the span à l’envergure
its yawning depths as the shell sa béante profondeur en tant que la coque
??????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------
sensual re?assembly nouvel assemblage
within the shell au sein de la coque
the luminous l’automate lumineux
drive passage drone pilote des passages
??????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------
11 11
of a ship d’un bâtiment
listing on one side or the other penché de l’un ou l’autre bord
???????????????????????????????????????????? ------------------------------------
the drone l’automate
of the driver code du code pilote
signals the depth marque la profondeur

re?configured nouvelle configuration
conveyance du transfert
????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------
12 12
?????????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------
floating flottement
lasting éternel
code du code
folding reploiement
master du maître
mold modèle

inarticulate inarticulé
against contre
the infinite l’infini

genetic acrostic translation transmutation des acrostiches génétiques
re?cast fields remaniement des champs
shards adrift fragments à la dérive

?????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------
13 13
out of ancient cypherings hors d’anciens calculs
where with age the maneuver forgotten où la manoeuvre avec l’âge oublié
arisen surgi
inferring inférant
long ago he seized the bar jadis il empoignait la barre
from this conflagration de cette conflagration
at his feet à ses pieds
from the unanimous horizon de l’horizon unanime
that there que se
be readied prépare
tossed about and mixed s’agite et mêle
in the fist that would clasp it au poing qui l’étreindrait
as one threatens comme on menace
a destiny and the winds un destin et les vents

the unique Number which cannot l’unique Nombre qui ne peut pas
???????????????????????????????????????????? ---------------------------------

meaning le sens
lies multiplie

in states ses états

?????????????????????????????????????????? -------------------------------------
14 14
be another être un autre
Spirit Esprit
to throw it pour le jeter
into the tempest dans la tempête
to fold back the division and proudly pass en reployer la division et passe fier

hesitates hésite
corpse by the arm cadavre par le bras

kept from the secret it withhold écarté du secret qu’il détient
rather plutôt
than play que de jouer
as a hoary maniac en maniaque chenu
????????????????????????????????????????????????? ---------------------------------------------------
rhythmic cycles réémergence
re?surfacing des cycles rythmiques
within dans
the floating frame pulse la pulsation du cadre flottant

the cast refaire
sexual un numéro
number sexuel

written in wind écrit dans le vent
breath le souffle
breath le souffle
touches on the skin effleure la peau

????????????????????????????????????????????? ----------------------------------------------
15 15
the game la partie
in the name of the waves au nom des flots
?????????????????????????????????????????????? ---------------------------------------------
waves les vagues
form forment
breathing des mains
hands vivantes
????????????????????????????????????????????????? ------------------------------------------
16 16

one un

invades the head envahit le chef
flows like a tamed beard coule en barbe soumise

this a shipwreck naufrage cela

???????????????????????????????????????? ---------------------------------------
self le moi
as cypher en tant que cryptogramme

navigate the wreckage navigue dans l’épave
of means and meaning du sens et des moyens

emotives connotations

text of the self le texte du moi
??????????????????????????????????????????? -------------------------------
17 17

of man directly direct de l'homme
??????????????????????????????????????????? ----------------------------------
luminous lumineuses
negotiable perspectives
perspectives négociables
??????????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------
18 18

without vessel sans nef
no matter n’importe
where vain où vaine

?????????????????????????????????????????????? ----------------------------------
zero site state site en état zéro
infinite horizon l’horizon infini
one un
world within a word monde dans un mot

engine of erotic la machine des manoeuvres
maneuvring érotiques
vessel engines les machines vaisseaux
co?mingling en coalescence

the authored la machine créatrice
engines of desire des désirs

the vuser / voyeur le spectager / voyeur
enters pénètre
the interior l’intime
en?coded encodage
emotion de l’émotion

the nature la nature
of the amatory de la machine
engine amoureuse

engine cette machine
within dans
an engine une machine

internal générateur intime
drift generator de dérive
re?erotic positionings positionnements toujours érotiques

the glide potential les pulsions du désir
streams ruissellent
the desire drives de trajets possibles

glimpsing ? the glistening coup d’oeil - définition de
light defined la lumière scintillante
fine lines lignes fines
slits fentes
and edges et rebors

only seul
the cypher self le moi cryptogramme
broken soft doucement brisé

recombinant surface
surface of thought recombinante de la pensée
????????????????????????????????????????????????? ----------------------------------------
19 19

ancestrally to not open the hand ancestralement à n’ouvrir pas la main
clenched crispée
???????????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------
clutch?grafting?holds embrayage, greffe et prise
the desire vessel engine's trajectoire de rechange
alternate course des machines-vaisseaux du désir
??????????????????????????????????????????????????? ------------------------------------
20 20
beyond the useless head par-delà l’inutile tête
????????????????????????????????????????????????? ---------------------------------------
negotiation trees négociation des arborescences
enfolded in flight reploiement dans la fuite
re?embodied horizon horizon réincarné
of the glide beacon des balises de l’approche

lighthouse le phare
of the pearl?flower paths des chemins de fleurs de perles
??????????????????????????????????????????????????? ------------------------------------
21 21
legacy in the disappearance legs en la disparition
to someone à quelqu’un
??????????????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------------
rendered exprimé
in the light dans la lumière
of past des anciens
words mots
navigated parcourus

to drown se noyer
in the medium dans la matière

of light and silence de la lumière et du silence

specific ambiguity manifestation intacte
is rendered intact de cette ambiguité singulière
embeded incrustée
embraced étreinte
?????????????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------
22 22
ambiguous ambigu
the ulterior immemorial demon l’ultérieur demon immémorial
??????????????????????????????????????????????????? ----------------------------------------
ulterior motive le mobile ultérieur
the cypher motif le motif du cryptogramme
????????????????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------------
23 23
having ayant
from null lands de contrées nulles
induced induit
???????????????????????????????????????????????????? -------------------------------------------
null set driver rhythm rythme pilote à nul ensemble
degree of inertia degré d’inertie

function fonction
of this charged de cette pulsation
negotiated chargée et
pulse négociée
????????????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------
24 24
the old man towards this supreme le vieillard vers cette conjonction suprême
conjunction with probability avec la probabilité
[[one long line]]
???????????????????????????????????????????????? -------------------------------
spun drift pivotement des dérives
enfolded falls reploiement des chutes
thrown vessels lancement des vaisseaux
read déchiffrement
the branch of language grafting une greffe de la branche du langage

the sensual paradox incarnation
embodied du paradoxe sensuel

hand withdrawn la main se retire

waves ondes
and particle planes et mondes de particules
the drapery l’étoffe
of erotic folds des replis érotiques

????????????????????????????????????????? ------------------------------------------
25 25
this one celui
his puerile shadow son ombre puérile
caressed and polished and worned out and washed caressée et polie et rendue et lavée

made supple by the wave and removed assouplie par la vague et soustraite
from the hard bones lost among the planks aux durs os perdus entre les ais
born né
of a frolic d’un ébat
??????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------------
rendered entry manifestation de l’entrée
play of light jeu de lumière
on watch au guet
of pain de la douleur

glass surface des mots
surface of words en verre
linguistic window fenêtre linguistique
re? nouvelles
positionings positions

the passages lit passages illuminés
??????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------
26 26
the sea by the tempting ancestor or the la mer par l’aïeul tentant ou l’aïeul contra-ancestor against the sea /la mer
[[on line]]
an idle chance une chance oiseuse
Engagement Fiançailles
whose dont
veil of illusion arises against their haunting le voile d’illusion rejaillit leur hantise
as well as the ghost of a gesture ainsi que le fantôme d’un geste
?????????????????????????????????????????????? -------------------------------------
like telles
lips des lèvres
lingering savourant
on sexual des allusions
innuendo sexuelles
???????????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------
27 27
will falter chancellera
will fall s’affalera

??????????????????????????????????????????????? ------------------------------------------
a veil un voile

of d’énergie

pure energy pure
enfolds the cypher self enveloppe le moi cryptogramme

flesh folds replis charnels

frame shifters les amateurs de cadres
at a loss désorientés
irony of seeding l’ironie d’ensemencer
incidental windows des fenêtres incidentes
????????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------
28 28
madness la folie
??????????????????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------------
spoken énonciation
collapsing effondrement
the breaths les souffles
hold retiennent
scattered le silence
silence épars

navigation navigation
????????????????????????????????????????????????? ------------------------------------------
29 29

An insinuation Une insinuation
simple simple
???????????????????????????????????????????????????? ----------------------------------------
and if, then et si, alors
and if, then again et si, alors encore
the cypher le cryptogramme
is then est alors

silence silence
???????????????????????????????????????????????? ---------------------------------------
30 30
to silence au silence
????????????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------
speaking la parole
so eloquently si éloquente
at the threshold au seuil

of the field's de la ruine
demise du champ
????????????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------------
31 31
enrolled with irony enroulée avec ironie
or ou
the mystery le mystère
hurled précipité
howled hurlé

in some nearby dans quelque proche
????????????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------
the tongue la langue
triggers déclenche
and floats the shunt et fait flotter la bifurcation
????????????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------
32 32
whirlpool of hilarity and horror tourbillon d’hilarité et d’horreur

hovers voltige

???????????????????????????????????????????????? ------------------------------------
mirroring réflexion
the surface de la surface
underneath de dessous
the meaning le sens
thrown lancé
cast down from within remanié de l’intérieur

dice les dés

read déchiffrés

chance la chance
to navigate de naviguer
negotiation négociation

sung across the silences chanté dans les silences
by the carriers par les porteurs

intermingled la voix
voice entremêlé
of chance du hasard

the spinning room la chambre des trames
the woven angles la trame des angles
at a loss désorientation
in the air of un?certainty dans cette ambiance d’in-certitude
????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ---------------------------------------
33 33
about the chasm autour du gouffre
without strewing it sans le joncher
nor fleeing ni fuir
????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ----------------------------------------
the operation le jeu
of collisions des collisions
re?opens rouvre
indefinitely sans fin
the legs of language les jambes au langage
fleeing qui fuit
exquisite corpse cadavre exquis
re?examine the tongue revoit la langue
silenced réduite au silence
the infinite deferral le report infini

read déchiffrement
??????????????????????????????????????????????? ----------------------------------
34 34
and sways its virginal trace et en berce le vierge indice
???????????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------
re?red relecture
of the body du corps
abstracted les cartes
maps abstraites
this distribution cette distribution
of matters des sujets

skin of the text la peau du texte
skin of the sex la peau du sexe
roll of dispersion le jeu des dispersions
????????????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------
35 35

solitary distraught quill plume solitaire éperdue
?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ------------------------------------------
sexual les replis
folds sexuels
intact intacts

percussion of the die choc des dés
to navigate pour naviguer
silences les silences

of the violent des phrases
sentences violentes
suspended en suspens
????????????????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------
36 36
unless sauf
a midnight toque encounters or grazes it que la rencontre ou l’effleure une toque de
????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ----------------------------------
the slippage on mesure
is measured le dérapage
blue voice in the black voix bleue dans le noir

mouth la bouche
singing chante
still toujours

?????????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------
37 37
and immobilizes et immobilise
on the crumpled velvet by a dark laugh au velours chiffonné par un esclaffement /sombre ????????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------------
the death of language la mort du langage
conceives this multiplicity fait naître cette multiplicité

the punny role calembours
the punning parole et coups de dés
????????????????????????????????????????????? -------------------------------------
38 38
this rigid whiteness cette blancheur rigide
pathetic dérisoire
in opposition to the sky en opposition au ciel
too much trop
not to mark pour ne pas marquer
?????????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------------
a sea of thought navigation
navigated d’un océan de pensées
at a loss incompréhension
to its own de sa propre
operation opération
?????????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------
39 39
exiguously exigüment
whosoever quiconque
bitter prince of the reef prince amer de l’écueil
?????????????????????????????????????????????? -------------------------------------------
navigational l’organe
organism navigationel
of the text du texte
?????????????????????????????????????????????? ---------------------------------------------
40 40
wears it as an heroic headdress s’en coiffe comme de l’héroïque
irresistible but contained irrésistible mais contenu
by his small virile reason par sa petite raison virile
???????????????????????------------ ----------------------------------------
a precision of doubt greffe
grafted de doutes précis
?????????????????????????????????????? ---------------------------------------
41 41
in lightning flash en foudre
anxious soucieux
?????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------------
re?doubled redoublement
the under sea sous-marin
synapse le miroir
mirror des synapses

floats flotte

in the face devant
of these ces
small deaths petites morts

casts remaniements
the valence la valence
of ambivalence de l’ambivalence
?????????????????????????????????????????? -------------------------------------
42 42
expiatory and pubescent expiatoire et pubère
?????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------
self?organising ces sexualités
sexualities s’organisent
at the threshold of transgression au seuil de la transgression
???????????????????????????????????????????? ----------------------------------------------
43 43
mute muet
?????????????????????????????????????????????? ------------------------------------------
the silence le silence
drives génère
rhythmic de rythmiques
durations durées
intervals of physicality intervalles de matérialité

the voice la voix
????????????????????????????????????????????? ----------------------------------------
44 44
laughter rire
that que

The lucid and lordly aigrette La lucide seigneuriale aigrette
invisible on the brow au front invisible

of vertigo de vertige

scintillates scintille
then shadows puis ombrage
a delicate dark stature une stature mignonne ténébreuse
in its siren twist en sa torsion de sirène
??????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------------
in the light à la lumière
of these dark motions de ces sombres mouvements

the oscillation l’oscillation

pigmalion's l’action
focused ciblée
agency de ce pygmalion

re?embodied réincarné
????????????????????????????????????????? ----------------------------------------------
45 45
standing debout
long enough le temps
with impatient ultimate scales par d’impatientes squames ultimes

to slap de souffleter
?????????????????????????????????????????? -----------------------------------------
the physics of exchange manifestation
rendered en un mot
in a word de la physique de l’échange

en?folded reployée
in the code dans le code

the bodies les humours noirs
dark humor des corps

in energy transmués
translation en énergie

broken breathings souffles syncopés
spoken lines re?aligned réalignement des phrases énoncées

a sensual positioning sensuel positionnement

depth of language profondeur de la langue
punning glance coquin coup d’oeil
broken vessels vaisseaux brisés
skin of the elemental veil peau du voile élémentaire

alternating alternance
atmospheres des atmosphères
of exposure de mise à nu
?????????????????????????????????????????????? --------------------------------------------------
46 46
forked bifurquées
??????????????????????????????????????????????? ------------------------------------------------
at once reveiling tant révélation
and obscuring qu
Bill Seaman: Red Dice/Des Chiffres, 04-10-2020, in: Archive of Digital Art
Exhibitions & Events