The Uncertain Repetitions of Truth

Adapted from the esoteric writings of the Gujarati poet and diarist Mir UmarHassan, The Uncertain Repetitions of Truth is a collection of short interactive fragments, that ponders the nature of exactitude and the profound cost of marking time.

It is an odd compilation of stories about people caught in the intimate dance between timekeeping and truth-making; And about bodies trapped by a desire for certainty amidst the tumult of a teleological future and the memory of an indelible past. But most of all they are stories of repetitions and hauntings, finger-bones and xeroxes, imprints and doppelgangers, and the countless ghosts who linger between the finite delineations of a clock.

Oleomingus is a small independent game and arts studio. They practice at the intersection of post- colonial writing and interactive fiction, and use videogame spaces as sites of discourse, resistance and record. With their games, they attempt to study colonial power structures and the histories that they occlude, and how interactive fiction might be used to pollute a single reductive record of the past or of a people. They are keenly interested in languages, translations and questions of authorship, of bodies and territories, and of transactions and movements across borders. But most of all they study stories or narratives or fragments of data that can be recorded in the form of hypertext.

Studio Oleomingus

In 1964 there appeared a peculiar collection of stories in the city pages of the Malwa chronicle.

The stories recounted a rabelaisian and macabre history of the period during partition, through a tale of several silver pocket-watches, where the winding mechanism was held in place by a filament of human bone.

Denounced as blasphemous and deeply hurtful, a series of complaints forced the newspaper to abandon publication of the stories and rescind most extant copies. Though the actual size of the collection and the source of the stories was never revealed, the three stories that were published can still be found in the archives of the chronicle, each edited and carefully translated by the fabled Gujarati poet and diarist MirUmar Hassan.

It is these three tales that we have tried to resurrect here, so that they may once again haunt our imagination with their ribald and violent recollections and the promise of lives marked by a calendar of circular time.

Click the play-button to launch a story from the collection. The stories are best played on a desktop or tablet browser along with headphones. On mobile phones make sure to keep the phone in portrait mode to avoid distorting the images.