Television's over. Networks are down. The radio is silent. All files erased. Imagine every book, film, play or song is about to be destroyed.
What would you save?
There's a scene from a film that you watched as a kid, there's a novel you always turn to when you're feeling down, there's a song you play when you think you're in love, there's a play your school put on and you were the lead actor...You'll never have the chance to handle those things again. You can only save one of them. Well, what would you save?
Charade is a new project launched by Simon Pope of Ambulant Science and the ICA and you are all invited to be the network. Over May and June this year, volunteers are invited to select the book, film, play or song that they would like to save if everything was about to be destroyed and through a series of gatherings and meetings, everyone will memorise their selected item and learn how to be the thing that remains.
When forced to rely on our own memories and bodies for storage and retrieval, how would our relationship to these artifacts change? What new forms of ownership and distribution might emerge?
More importantly... what does it take to become Purple Rain by Prince? Inspired by the final scenes of Francois Truffaut's film Farenheit 451, the project will end with a gathering of all volunteers in Trafalgar Square, reciting and presenting their memorised pieces, recreating the final scene of the film.
This Londonista has signed up as a Charade volunteer; a novel has been selected to be committed to memory but any other suggestions are welcome at this stage. The London A-Z? Peter Ackroyd's London: The Biography? Every scene and word of dialogue from Shaun of the Dead?
Do you want to be part of the network? Go to the Charade website here for more information on how to join. See you at Trafalgar Square, whatever you may be by then...