Bill Seaman: Red Dice

15 Jul 2000 - 09 Oct 2000

Red Dice is Bill Seaman's homage to the innovative 19th century French poet Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-98) and his poem Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard (Dice Thrown Never Will Annul Chance). Commissioned by the National Gallery of Canada and shown for the first time, Red Dice is an interactive installation of poetry, musical compositions and moving images. It is on view from 15 July to 9 October 2000. The videotape upon which the Red Dice installation is built was shot in June 1997 at several natural and industrial sites in the Ottawa area. The mechanical loom, the mill, the player piano, these recurrent images belong to another century yet persist into our own time, as technologies still in use or in radically transformed states. Their relatively simple mechanics or punched paper controls are the ancestors of today's computers. Bill Seaman layered French and English spoken text and music over the images, tightly editing the hours of original footage into a fifteen-minute production, a work of art in its own right.