Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

Second Life Tour with Chris Marker and the Harvard Film Archive

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Last Updated on November 13, 2020 by bricoleur

Source: Harvard Film Archive at Archive.org


In 2009, the Harvard Film Archive hosted a truly historic live encounter with Chris Marker in Second Life. Marker, who has often been sited in the form of his avatar in Ouvroir, generously agreed to lead a guided tour and offer commentary on his latest creation, including special single-channel presentations of his video pieces Silent Movie and The Hollow Men, an occasion that was made all the more meaningful by the then-recent announcement that the museum would be dismantled later that year.

In conjunction with the 2008 exhibition “Chris Marker: A Farewell to Movies” at the Museum of Design in Zurich, Chris Marker presented a series of exhibits of photography, film clips, video installations and other media work, all contained within a radically futuristic museum created in the popular virtual world and free Internet portal, Second Life. Designed and frequently updated by Viennese architect and computer guru Max Moswitzer and Margarete Jahrmann, Marker´s museum hovers motionless above the virtual archipelago Ouvroir, a creative geography of mysterious islands, sculptures and uncanny architecture. Over time, Ouvroir has continued to transform and expand as an interactive environment with new structures and exhibition spaces appearing regularly and often containing content related to Marker's work.

Always at the very cutting edge of technological innovation, Marker long ago fully embraced the digital and virtual, producing in 1996 perhaps the only lasting and artistically ambitious CD-ROM, the fabulous Immemory, which expanded Marker's fascination with the playful mirages of memory, history, and the moving image into a nonlinear and engrossingly interactive environment. In 2006, Marker premiered a new film, the one minute Leila Attacks, on YouTube. Marker also worked for many years in digital photography, culminating with an exhibition, Quelle heure est-elle? which opened in May 2009 at New York's Peter Blum Gallery.

Harvard Film Archive at Archive.org
Ouvroir from above courtesy Rhizome.org Second Life
Ouvroir from Above, courtesy rhizome.org
Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory
metro laughing woman staring back
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