About the Work

Meccano No. 2 is a three-tiered deconstruction of Julio Cortázar's Hopscotch (Rayuela) on the occasion of its 60th anniversary.

At a formal level, "Meccano No. 2" offers an extended, dynamic treatment of selections from the novel, subjected to various deformations and infused with maga-adjacent and otherwise hoppy/scotchy discourses. Diegetically, weaving through and against the mix, it unreels the story of Roco, a suspended air traffic controller undergoing therapy in 1993. Something happened to Roco in a Paris apartment when he was very young. His recovery of this engrained trauma, and the ontogenic feat at its core, may shed some light on time, language, and the nature of Maga world.

As Cortázar’s Morelli says: "The true character and the only one that interests me is the reader." Accordingly, the third layer of the stack (top or bottom) is reading experience. With Morellian rigor I have held links to an absolute minimum, in atonement for earlier if not original sins. Meccano No. 2 is not a street game but a machine. The work presents itself (however absurdly) as a trainable language model. The reader must complete a brief preparatory phase, making seed selections for five "vectors" of expression, before the machine will start. The procedure must be performed with sincerity and is largely without consequence.

This is not game but fiction, though it could also be taken for softly syncopated cinema. Watch, read, consider. Traversing Roco's story will take about half an hour, run straight down. After that it goes on randomly forever. You may skip to any point in the story by clicking a number on the left of the screen -- give the machine a second or three to respond. The last link in the stack ('100') leads to a compiled version of the story, though it does not work until all the story parts have appeared.

Every machine has its quirks. As Horacio Oliveira warns, "this is Meccano number 7 and you're barely in number 2." In Mecha-Maga world we inevitably trail the curve. Personally speaking, the prehistory of this effort begins with "Hegirascope" in 1995, starting an automatized series that stayed petulantly in beta for decades. The first full release, Meccano No. 1, is hidden in unlinked pages of Victory Garden 2022. There will be higher-numbered Meccanos to come: after this it’s nothing but machines.