Some time of available human brain

(Hommage to Patrick Le Lay)

Internet installation for television channel
and computer assisted actor


Concept & programming : Christophe Bruno - Interpreted by Jérôme Piques

World premiere on October 2, 2004, at the Nuit Blanche de Paris
Mairie du IVème Arrondissement
Within the exhibition organized by Metazone

More about the Human Browser project


« There are many ways of talking about television. But in a business context, let's be realistic: basically, TF1's job is to help Coca-cola, for example, to sell its product (...). However, for an advertisement to be perceived, it is necessary that the brain of the spectator should be available. The role of our programs is to make it available: i.e. to entertain it, to relax it in order to prepare it between two messages. What we sell to Coca-cola is some time of available human brain (...).

Nothing is more difficult than obtaining this availability. There lies the permanent change. It is necessary to seek at all times the programs that will fit, to follow the latest fashions, to surf on the trends of the moment, in a context where information accelerates, multiplies and gets more pervasive ».


Patrick Le Lay, CEO of TF1 (French TV channel), July 2004


Video extracts of the performance: (Quicktime, 6 Mo)


The premiere of the performance "Some time of available human brain" took place on October 2, 2004, at the third "Nuit Blanche de Paris" at the Mairie du IVème arrondissement which welcomed more than 11 000 people. Ten representations were given this night, each one lasting between ten and fifteen minutes.

The principle of the installation is as follows:

1) an actor (here, Jérôme Piques) lies on a psychoanalyst's couch, with a television which broadcasts a TV channel live (LCI here) behind his back..

2) behind the couch, a person types in key words in relation with what theTV set shows. These key words are sent on a server (here the laptop down the couch). Thanks to a search engine like Google, a program on this server allows us to extract the textual flood relating to the chosen key words (see on this principle my piece "epiphanies") in real-time from the Web.

3) the text is then read by a voice synthetizer and sent to the headset of the actor who says it as soon as he hears it.

4) the result is a two-voice performance: the voice of television, the spectacle provider, and the voice of the Web (or of Google if you prefer), where a fallacious freedom masks the success of the society of control (see for example my text on fluctuat.net about the Taylorization of speech).

Acknowledgments : to the whole Metazone team and particularly to Macha Mieg, Daniel Duclos, Barthélémy Brossel, Défendin Détard, Arnaud Boland, Harry Jean, Jean Quintard, Claude Plard...