"An Imperial Message"
Franz Kafka / algorithmic rewrite




is a short parable by Franz Kafka of approximately 300 words — about the absolute, the manufacturing of meaning, the stasis of society and the capacity of the individual dreamer. It was first published in 1919 (written in 1917).

I have created a neo-Dadaist re-reading & re-writing using the ‘cut-up’ literary technique first espoused in 1919 by the Romanian poet Tristan Tzara — the 300 words have been reshuffled into 70 odd pages of textual play.

This was achieved by the application of an algorithmic syntactical program followed up by a close editorial review emphasizing the premise of decisive interactivity — a parable on the facility of thought itself.

The piece is both your personal dream and a message from one dead.
It’s ultimately like most things — what you make of it.

The work was presented at the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada.

Hard cover available here:


The installation version includes a video version of the original text, the cyber generated text & editing of the text into a slim 72-page book, a singing mouse, and a CGI Mesmer sphere projection.

The music in the piece, which can be heard through headphones is  Stravinsky’s Octet — composed between 1919 and 1923

"The Octet began with a dream, in which I saw myself in a small room surrounded by a small group of instrumentalists playing some attractive music . . . I awoke from this little concert in a state of great delight and anticipation and the next morning began to compose." Stravinsky.