Qu’est-ce Qu’une Madeleine? A propos du CD-Rom Immemory de Chris Marker

by Laurent Roth and Raymond Bellour

Paris: Yves Gevaert Éditeur and Centre Georges Pompidou, 1997. First edition. 12mo large (20x13cm), printed card wrappers. 160pp. Text bilingual French/English. Bottom corner slightly bumped. Contents clean and unmarked. Fine.


Chris Marker’s interest had always been in memory and its relationship to the image, as well as the technique of collage, in which he combined a wide variety of materials, mainly from his own archive. In his work Zapping Zone, which was created between 1989-1990 for the exhibition Passages de l’image, Marker expanded his thematic approach to new media.

Between 1995 and 1997, he continued to experiment with computer-based work, that continued in a collaboration with the Centre Georges-Pompidou, and resulted in a CD-ROM, entitled Immemory [impossible memory], which deals with questions of memory. The CD-ROM came out in 1997 with the addition Immermory One, in order to allow later modifications, and was commercially released in 1998.

The release of the CD-ROM Immemory was accompanied by this little book Qu’est- ce qu’une Madeleine? A propos du CD-Rom Immemory, with essays by Laurent Roth and Raymond Bellour, which offer some tools for the viewer-navigator, who otherwise could get lost in that immense and secret work. In his essay, Raymond Bellour writes:

“Whatever he may or may not do after his CD- ROM, it is clear that the latter already stands as a final work and a masterpiece, in conformity with its craftsmanly character and with its programmatic value.”

The CD-ROM Immemory can be accessed as an online version on gorgomancy.net or can be downloaded at www.archive.org.

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