« I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. »
Prend tout son sens le double portarit qu’André Gorz trace du » travailleur scientifique et technique « , maître d’un flux de connaisance, d’information et de formation, mais si bien absorbé dans le capital que cioncide avec lui le reflux d’une connerie organisée, axiomatisée, qui fait que, le soir, en rentrant chez lui, il retrouve ses petites machines désirantes en bricolant sur un téléviseur, ô dédespoir. Certes, le savant n’a en tant que tel aucune puissance révolutionnnaire, il est le premier agent intégré de l’intégration, refuge de mauvaise conscience, destructeur forcé de sa propre créativité.
Producing-machines, desiring-machines everywhere, schizophrenic machines, all of species life: the self and the non-self, outside and inside no longer have any meaning whatsoever.
Thus a concrete programme was designed, which can be stated succinctly as follows. For ten years, from 1925 to 1935, Bartlebooth would acquire the art of painting watercolours. For twenty years, from 1935 to 1955, he would travel the world, painting, at a rate of one watercolour each fortnight, five hundred seascapes of identical format (royal, 65 cm x 50 cm) depicting seaports. When each view was done, he would dispatch it to a specialist craftsman (Gaspar Winckler), who would glue it to a thin wooden backing board and cut it into a jigsaw puzzle of seven hundred and fifty pieces.
For twenty years, from 1955 to 975, Bartlebooth, on his return to France, would reassemble the jigsaw puzzles in order, at a rate, once again, of one puzzle a fortnight. As each puzzle was finished, the seascape would be « retexturised » so that it could be removed from its backing, returned to the place where it had been painted – twenty years before – and dipped in a detergent solution whence would emerge a clean and unmarked sheet of Whitman paper. Thus no trace would remain of an operation which would have been, throughout a period of fifty years, the sole motivation and unique activity of the author.