Hand in the Darkness/ Lire ? was designed to be able to be received by all the public ones, and in particular by the partially-sighted persons. You in the place of this public imagine. The screen opposite you is black. You cannot however prevent you from looking at it. Something, an image, a sign, will it come to make surface? If you want to perceive something of work, one will need to entrust only your hearing. If work is interactive, it will be only with the assistance of your hands that you will be able to exert an action. While waiting to discover work by yourselves, here are what we could say.
Opening the banner page, the first page of « Hand in the Darkness / Lire ? » is dark, almost black. Two voices call the listener, and summon it to make a choice: to click on the left or click on the right. Almost no image comes to inform him about what he will discover according to the side that he will choose. The listener? the reader? let us call him the hyperreader, since it will act on hypertexts links, can determine his first choice of navigation only according to the words which he hears. Thereafter, the hyperreader will have constantly to choose between left side of the screen or right side, thus drawing a single course in work.
As far as the content of this art work is concerned, two parts make « Hand in the Darkness / Lire ? », each one including 9 texts, numbered from 2 to 10. The first part can be regarded as the part “TEXT”, while the second will be called “METATEXT”. In the part “TEXT”, said by a female-intonated voice, a speaker addresses herself to the screen, by naming it “you, screen, you, other” and requires that one point out the meaning of the word « caress ». To obtain a response of the screen, the voice of the “TEXT” will use of tricks specific to the storytellers, by taking the way of the fable. Throughout the nine texts which make this part “TEXT”, the female-intonated voice will be confronted with another absent, before perhaps finding the way of the other… by the word. In part “METATEXT”, a male-intonated voice will stick on the contrary to demystify the caress, until denying it, until even denying that it could exist. This voice, who will take the way of the irony in turn, contempt, sufficiency, of cease of déconstruire will not have what the “TEXT” intended to find. After each text, the hyperreader finds himself in situation of choice, with calls of each of the two votes.
Internet is not out of the world. Everyone, whatever its physical condition, must be able to find contents, must be able to exchange, must be able to get richer as a human being. The W3C standards specify a certain number of protocols to guarantee the accessibility of the contents on line to the people suffering from handicap. Certain sites, mainly informative, respect these standards, and allow the partially-sighted persons to reach oralized contents. Artists and data-processing authors of literature, them, since the beginning of the Nineties until the first decade of the XXI°, especially ventured in the exploration of the multiple technical possibilities of the media, with a taste very marked for the performance. Today, in 2007, the efforts of the creators to ensure themtselves of the accessibility of their works is not always proven. It is what « Hand in the Darkness/ Lire? » wants to however make, since public, partially-sighted person or deaf person, will be able to take note of work. How ? You will discover it while looking, hearing, touching our net art work.
Xavier Malbreil for the text part and Gerard Dalmon for the setting in scene, were associated for their previous net art work, The Book of the Dead » . Since its creation in 2003, several thousands of people saw this work on line. Many demonstrations in France as abroad accomodated a projection-performance of it. Nearly 1000 pages each month in this beginning 2007 on the URL www.livresdesmorts.com is still seen. Articles, resulting from the university world as of the specialized media accounted for the originality of this work, who put the tools resulting from numerical technologies at the service of interrogations as much artistic, literary, religious as cultural . This new creation « Hand in the Darkness/ Lire? » again joins together Xavier Malbreil for the text part and Gerard Dalmon for the setting in scene and the METATEXTE voice. Alexandra Loewe is to be thanks for the TEXT voice.