Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

Marker on the Command Line


Chris Marker, identification d’un geek from provisoire on Vimeo.

After discovering this video on Vimeo, our attention was directed to a post on that offers additional information about Marker’s DIALECTOR program, and two additional videos that we have included below. Marker himself is quoted summarizing the project and voicing his oft-rumored disappointment at changes at Apple that truncated his playful, very personal programming. His work on the ‘command line’ allowed allusion-filled conversations with the computer – very avant-garde at the time in this programming foray as so often in his exploration of new media.

Though we don’t know dates, it seems plausible to see DIALECTOR as a prelude to both Immemory and to Ouvroir, his digital home in Second Life. We also have some evidence, to be explored in a future post, that he used the nascent internet as an organizational tool for the construction of the 12 sequences of L’Héritage de la chouette. More on that later.

« DIALECTOR était une ébauche de programme, interrompu lorsqu’Apple a décidé que programmer était réservé aux professionnels. Il en reste des bribes, probablement incompréhensibles, ainsi qu’un spécimen de dialogue. L’original est quelque part sur des disquettes 5.25 illisibles aujourd’hui. Il est certain que si j’avais pu continuer au rythme de quelques lignes par jour, le programme aurait sans doute une réserve de conversation plus riche. » – Chris Marker, 2010

Rough translation:

DIALECTOR was a draft program, interrupted when Apple decided that programming was to be reserved for professionals. There remain some scraps, probably incomprehensible, and a specimen of dialogue. The original is somewhere on 5.25 disks – unreadable today. It is certain that if I could have continued in the rhythm of a few lines a day, the program would probably hold a reserve allowing richer conversations.

For more information, you can consult DIALECTOR, en conversation(s), published on ARTE Creative. Thank you Agnès de Cayeux for the link in your comment that led me to this post.

The summary of the Vimeo DIALECTOR video states:

Enquête autour du programme Dialector, par Agnès de Cayeux, Andrés Lozano (Loz) et Annick Rivoire, avec la voix de Paul Lafonta. Un projet soutenu par le Dicréam, présenté dans le cadre du cycle “Vidéo et après”, soirée hommage à Chris Marker au centre Pompidou, le 18 mars 2013.

Inquiry into the program Dialector, by Agnès de Cayeux, Andrés Lozano (Loz) and Annick Rivoire, with the voice of Paul Lafonta. A project supported by Diacréam, presented in the context of of the series “Video and after”, a gathering in homage to Chris Marker at the Pompidou Center, March 19, 2013.

Here are some more interactions with DIALECTOR posted on poptronics:


Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory
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