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WORD RAMBLER: Hypnos Waking

15cm by 8cm by 2cm (plastic, acrylic lens, and vinyl belts.) - 1980-


I made this first Stochasticon following a revealing experience with the illusions of Memory.

There are words organized in 4 parallel belts collected from a book of aphorisms titled "Hypnos Waking" written by poet René Char.

Most verses are syntax free, and I had memorized a few of them to impress my friends. In 1980 I was recalling some of them and decided to check my memory against the book.  It turned out that every recollection I had was false. Just like with "Slow wisdom," I felt very uneasy about myself and equally fascinating by this phenomenon.


There is in the choice of isolated words of René Char written on the run during WWII while he was a group leader in the French Resistance in Southern France something unique and essential. I endeavored to take all the words from Hypnos Waking, and print them in 4 belts that could be aligned at random, in an accidental creative exercise of literary sabotage. I found out that as I used this device laid a slide rule, any juxtaposition of these choice words were magical. There is hardly a single instance when the juxtaposed words do not yield a profoundly sad yet enlightened evocation of his experience. 


The year 1980 also marked the beginning of affordable calculators, and the demise of the slide rule. This is also in homage to the slide rule.


 I have tried since to make a similar device with my own words and words borrowed from other poets, without any measure of success.

I borrowed the title from  “les Feuillets d’Hypnos” by French poet Rene Char<

translated by J Matthews as “Hypnos Waking ". "Hypnos waking " or “les Feuillets  d’hypnos,” (literally : Hypnos leaflets,) 



FLEETING MANTRA                                                 


Glass and Acrylic Lens, with a two inches diameter Wooden Sphere. -2010-  


Fleeting Mantras is to be rotated like a Tibetan prayer and swirled like a glass of Cognac . As a Mantra recited in a state of trance or as simple forgotten words mumbled after a few glasses of Cognac.

Words, their significance, the shape of their letters dissolve and become one with the Universe of this miniature model of the Cosmos.

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