Click here to experience the text.
(Annie Abrahams, Co production Panoplie.org 2002/2003 Programming William Pezet.)
“Separation/Séparation,” strikingly emphasizes both the bodily and geographic dimensions of literary creation and reception. Inspired by the author’s experience of repetitive-strain injury, the poem is designed to reinforce ergonomic guidelines aimed at preventing such injuries. Clicking too quickly or forcefully invokes the error message, “You don’t have the right attitude in front of your computer,” and the poem periodically pauses to lead the reader through stress-reduction exercises. While the central focus of Abrahams’ piece is the computer user’s fraught relationship with the machine, by providing English and French versions of the work, Abrahams, a Dutch artist working in France, also underscores the powerful but often under-recognized role of a language – “native,” “national,” “other,” “foreign” – in situating us in relation to whatever we read, even when that situation amounts to a separation due to our inability to comprehend. ”
-John Zuern in his review Where Are We Now?: Orienteering in the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 2 for the Electronic Book Review (2011-11-09 ).
About the Artist:
Annie Abrahams has a doctorate in biology from the University of Utrecht and a degree from the Academy of Fine Arts of Arnhem. In her work, using video performance as well as the internet, she questions the possibilities and the limits of communication in general and more specifically investigates its modes under networked conditions. She is an internationally regarded pioneer of networked performance art. Abrahams creates situations meant to reveal messy and sloppy sides of human behavior, to trap reality and so makes that reality available for thought.
She has performed and shown work extensively in France, including at the Pompidou Centre, Paris; the CRAC LR, Sète and in many international galleries including, among others, the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, Asheville, North Carolina, US; the Espai d’Art Contemporani Castelló, Spain; Furtherfield gallery, London; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; NIMk, Amsterdam; and the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art, Yerevan. Her work has also appeared at festivals such as the Moscow Film Festival, the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, and in online platforms such as Rhizome.org and Turbulence.
Photo by Loz