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[…] Elle barricade une frontière entre un régime esthétique moderne et post-moderne […] […] It constructs a barricade between a modern and postmodern aesthetic system […]

silent faces that observe our gestures, displaying their singular humanity: good or evil genies of another age. Have they found refuge in this indescribable ark? What rituals, then, have sum­ moned them to these destructured walls? We calm our agitated breathing. Find a tranquil position. The desire for control makes it essential to pinpoint a few landmarks: the cabin of a crashed aeroplane, a bunker suitable for holding out against the apocalypse, a tent in the guise of an improbable shop, stelae triangulating the paths. Motifs repeat themselves or replace each other. Alchemical symbols beyond what is knowable. An overload of objects resembling corpses. The alteration of figures

blazing elsewhere: damaged vehicles, abandoned equipment, scattered computers and media. While browsing haphazardly, we are assailed by a multitude of disturbing visions: the nightmare of the constantly announced end of the world, a general state of dysfunction, the end of utopias, the absurdity of egoistic dreams. Gradually the anxiety of our initial commotion dies down, and a peaceful frame of mind takes over, inviting contemplation. Are we dead to a certain kind of life, and reborn to other intimate intu­ itions? Cosmic calm in the face of this post-apocalyptic disaster, which reveals the nature of the constancies and regularities forming the framework of our fleeting realities. Enchanted

parentheses are suspended. Exaggerated attempts to incorpo­ rate marks of power or bogeymen of modernity leave us wondering. Is there a trap lurking behind the façade of our official beauties? What spectacular backstage world have we ended up in? In the end it is really from our subconscious that the primordial resonance has emerged: the pleasure of twisted forms, impulses of destruction, the joys of taunting miracles, the inversion of reasons, the annihila­ tion of invalidated, hollow norms. A vast, limitless field of manoeu­ vre seems to open out; born of the secret conflicts that govern our world and our imaginations full of unassuaged longings. The vices and virtues of an immersive art: a brief analysis

This account, based on an initial visit, invites us to take a theoreti­ cal step backwards, matured by our research in the information and communication sciences on immersive environments. These milieus, often artificial, and notably computer-generated (virtual reality-style audiovisual and interactive simulations, video games, CAVE, etc.), are so singular that being immersed in them destabilises our sensorial, intellectual and psychological points of reference. The reference to immersion is useful in des­ cribing and analysing the nume­ rous worlds forged by the human being to provide an experience completely at odds with our usual way of life. Especially as, with the spread of tourism and interactive

media, we have developed a taste for delighting in environments that can receive us in all our vulnerability, while challenging us with something completely new. One of the vital aspects revealed by any thought of immersion is that the power of the immersive experience is based on the discrepancy between the original, common world and the new universe surrounding us. The more different they are from each other, the more intense the destabilisa­ tion experienced by the human subject. The conditioning born of routine conditioning clashes with an environmental otherness that demolishes all the obvious facts we have acquired, and takes us out of our comfort zone. Faced with a context that sucks us in, a

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thousand questions spring up to establish which rules govern it, which ways of reasoning still or no longer apply, how to behave, and what attitude is needed to best adapt to this transformation of the self brought about by the ambient environment. Our ability to adapt is awakened, and endeavours to create bridges and forge links, to repatriate the unknown into zones that we can control more effectively. The result is a deconditioning from our initial existential framework. This entails a twofold movement, consisting simultaneously of making the strange familiar – where an effort must be made to learn and assimilate the difference – and making strange what is familiar to us – a process that

denaturalises and challenges the obvious facts acquired. Hence a possible virtuous circle capable of profoundly transforming us. Plunging into the timeless space of the Abode means going to the heart of an “ecosystem of hetero­ geneous works” that maintain mysterious relationships with each other, that we sense below the surface. The very notion of Chaos intuitively raises the issue of order and disorder as a tension that structures the surroundings. The strangeness of the accumulat­ ed strata, saturated with meaning and non-meaning, provokes an aesthetic and intellectual shock that is intriguing, to say the least. Welcoming or rejecting it depends on each person. But the artistic proposal, impossible to elude,

changes into the necessity to adapt, so rich is the content of the entities brought together in it, surrounding us inexorably from every angle. It would seem that this is an environment both immersive and subversive, because of the violent provocation created by deadly emblems: the remains of everyday consumer objects, wrecked vehicles, cryptic, militant or nihilistic graffiti, and so on. At the same time, an aesthetic of unity harmonises this obsessive diversity. It constructs a barricade between a modern and post-mo­ dern aesthetic system. Some will consider this artistic vein un­ healthy, morbid, ugly and unpleas­ ant. Others will appreciate the corrosive effects of this meaning­ ful jumble, which thematises


Opus IX: Abode of Chaos / La Demeure du Chaos 1999-2013  

thierry Ehrmann: we put all our passion and folly into preparing this French-English Collector, the book of the decade: 504 pages / 4.5 kg /...

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