The artist’s “atelier”
This isn’t an exhibition. I’d say it is more like Magritte and his pipe. I’ve been creating these works for over 20 years. Some were shown on the internet, others in public places, museums and cultural institutions. I wouldn’t give them the status of being “works of art” here.
In 2012, people (some famous like Tony Curtis, others totally unknown including some Chinese) were buried with their iPhone. Art is more than ever intricately entangled with information, technology and innovation in 2012. I was asked by the project leaders from Plaine Images (north of France) to work alongside them. My brief was to imagine launching this amazing new space, Imaginarium, which was a blank canvas in terms of image. The onus was on the artist to create and design a form of cooperation between the arts, science and industry based on images and the imagination: an extraordinarily exciting challenge.
To meet this challenge, rather than putting together an exhibition of objects approved by a commissioner specialized in art history, I wanted to pull out my tool-kit and everything that is inside my computer(s). Digital objects of all sorts emerged, projects for art works and exhibitions, software tool and apps, music, images and films, works in progress etc. Each work displayed could be viewed from different angles. Firstly, they mark a milestone in technical or material advances as they use such and such “new” technology, for example, the cell phone in 1997 and augmented reality in 2012. They tell stories, fictionalize and tear apart our fascination with and the way we use digital.
They are artistic proposals that give us another take on how we use these media that have become so commonplace. These works are also primarily collaborative and emerged from working with developers, researchers, industry as well as cultural institutions as close as Tourcoing and as far away as in Korea. They show beyond any doubt that the differential artists, inventors and creation bring to creative industry productions is imagination. And that has made all the difference!
Over and above the zigzag path that the mayhem of my files and hard disks of my computer(s) reveals, I discovered that extracting these old and new forms of media was very precious as it meant that I can continue to collaborate with other experimenters who are also “amateur-experts” in their field (Pierre and Joel Rodière from Traik, a graphic design consultancy and Annick Rivoire from Poptronics and her team of journalists/researchers). Proof, in other words, that highlights the importance of meeting, exchanging, cooperating and goodwill are essential when creating new forms in art, in the economy and in society.