Random Cravings

.exe / infinite running time / 800x600 pixels / language: english

Crave, the last but one play of British playwright Sarah Kane, has been transferred to code line by line. The background and figures were drawn by hand, digitized and animated.

The characters of this late work of Kane permanently fail to connect to one another and never come to a satisfying solution for either of them, are trapped in their own traumata, self-concepts and narratives. The program developed for this piece furthers this approach by having lines and stage directions given randomly to all included instances every few seconds - the figures, with computer-generated voices, say any line they were assigned with and also answer to that with any other randomized line or move.

Behind this approach lie concepts like the Infinite Monkey Theorem - the possibility that, with an infinite amount of time, by pure chance the play at some point would be performed in the correct order, or one of its characters could narrate their part of the story chronologically - as well as the inherent, but in practice impossible infinitude of plays like Carnage, No Exit and especially Crave, and finally the emptying of meaning, which under certain circumstances might be undetectable: Even though the machine only produces senseless, random dialogues, any spectator could make sense or find meaning in two monologues succeeding each other and might even mistake them for actual dialogue.

Once up and running, the program cannot be stopped or shut down without having to shut it down entirely. In theory, the digital play, a simulation of perfected estrangement, talking at cross purposes, and quest for meaning, goes on forever.

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