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#13 The International Digital Art Magazine Artists - Festivals - Innovation and more


April-May-June 2013 - 6 € / 8 $ US

d i g i t a l a r t i # 13



APRIL/MAY/JUNE 2013 Robert Lepage / Ex Machina, Fragmentation (ReACTOR), 2011. © R.R.

FEATURES 03 EDITORIAL 04 DIGITALARTI.COM infos, blogs and links

05 ART-LAB residences, workshops and events



06 NEW YORK exhibitions, galleries and initiatives

07 CHRONICLES Ariel Kyrou, Pierre Carniaux & Thierry Fournier

08 NICOLAS CLAUSS & JEAN-JACQUES BIRGÉ Leonardo da Vinci's dream machine

10 L'ATELIER ARTS/SCIENCES - CEA laboratory for research and experiment

12 FUTUROTEXTILES design, mode & innovation

14 KINETIC ART Galerie Denise René

16 JEFFREY SHAW expanded cinema and interactivity

20 NORBERT HILLAIRE Photomobiles

24 WOLF LIESER Digital Art Museum

26 SUNDANCE FESTIVAL mapping & new frontier

28 TRANSMEDIALE arts, technologies and events

31 RESOURCE Right to inventory

32 AGENDA exhibitions, festivals…

33 DIGITALARTI events, infos…

Contemporary artists who merge art and science are exploring a new world, a “world of packets” as Albertine Meunier calls it, determined by new units of measurement: How do we measure the speed of the Internet? How do these data packets transform our daily lives, between connection and disconnection, micro-actions and collective actions? In this issue, two pioneers of digital art share their thoughts on the convergence of art and science, which is defining new creative horizons: Jeffrey Shaw, with his “Future Cinema” installations and his latest interactive artwork made in collaboration with Sinan Goo: Fall Again, Fall Better (title inspired by Samuel Beckett). Norbert Hillaire shares his notes on a work-in-progress, his “photomobiles”, an iPhone series that plays on “the relationship between ecstatic, frozen time and a time of change, mobility and perpetual movement, between slowness and speed”. Also featured is an interview with Wolf Lieser of the Digital Art Museum in Berlin, as a trailblazer in the integration of digital works into the art market, reports from Transmediale and the CTM Festival, two events focused on research and practices that merge art and technology, a guided tour of the Arts-Sciences workshop in Grenoble… “New Frontier” was the theme of this year’s Sundance festival program dedicated to digital art, immersive experiences, video mapping, etc.; and it could be the sub-title of the Futurotextiles exhibition on smart applications and clothing. Geolocation: In April, Digitalarti inaugurates a bilingual website to promote the network of French organizations that are actively involved with digital and multimedia art, based on the Guide to Resources and Art Spaces published by MCD with support from the French Ministry of Culture: A new topography to be discovered… ANNE-CÉCILE WORMS

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DIGITALARTI.COM Find all of this information, blogs, links and other news on our website

The digital art channel

FLUX: Launched on December 17, Stéfane Perraud’s monumental art installation illuminated the historical rosace of the Paris Gare de l’Est train station for three months, reflecting travelers’ arrivals and departures. This artwork was tailor-made for a tender offer by France’s national railways (SNCF). The selection and production of the artwork were managed by Digitalarti._ Read more. <

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Focus blogs

Focus blogs



incite/, the Hamburg-based audiovisual electronic duo of Kera Nagel and André Aspelmeier, have received many awards for their performances. After a yearand-a-half of production, their audiovisual show Holistic Glue was finished this fall! incite/’s fifth major audiovisual live-set adds up grayscale perspectives on their hometown to a sum that is greater than its parts. incite/ blends the main elements of their pioneering earlier work and elevates them to advanced levels: Holistic Glue, an immersive performance of unorthodox, danceable, glitchy beats in tight sync with HD-visuals between abstraction and semi-narration. Combining the everyday-life-quantum-mechanics of Mindpiercing (2007-2009), the urban renderings of Dualicities (2010) and the macroscopic analysis of Zoom Studies (2011) with their special view on their hometown, Holistic Glue (2012) plays with unconventional perspectives. (…) < >

Medialab-Prado is a program of the Department of Arts of the City Council of Madrid, dedicated to the production, research and dissemination of digital culture, as well as the intersection of art, science, technology and society. Its versatile space hosts a number of workshops for producing projects, conferences, seminars, encounters, exhibitions, concerts, presentations, etc. All activities are free and open to the general public. The program’s primary objective is to create a structure where both research and production are processes permeable to user participation.

Agenda Videholica 2013 [Out of focus!] Open call VIDEOHOLICA International Video Art Festival in Varna, Bulgaria, welcomes video art submissions for its 6th edition. The festival will take place from August 1-5, 2013. Read more < >

Digital Peace 2013 in Seoul Digital Peace 2013 is a season of arts featuring four events, taking place from March to June at Platoon Kunsthalle in Seoul, brought to you by the French and German cultural institutes and embassies in celebration of 50 years of friendship. Read more < >

Artistes Trafik’s interactive architecture and Eclipse take over Stereolux Focusing on graphic and multimedia development, Trafik collects paper and pixels. Two installations, one of them created especially for the exhibition, will be exhibited under the Nefs and on the Plateforme Intermedia from March 8 through April 7.

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Their names: Eclipse and VS. Read more < >

Adelin Schweitzer / Dichotomie For the final opening of his site-specific residency at La Chambre Blanche, French artist Adelin Schweitzer presents two pieces that explore the concept of dichotomy and its possible layouts—from perception, space and time-based duplication to the technical duplication of stereoscopic images. Read more < >

Festivals, Art Centers SPAMM Cupcake in New York. The Cupcake exhibition is a deployment on the scale of the virtual world’s spirit, a meeting realized in the act of new artistic and digital practices, a new event where time zones no longer exist, where the space of the screen is providence, an unveiling, an appearance of our modernity. Read more < >

The 2013 KAO International Kinetic Art Competition Awards The interactive sound installation Cymatics has

been awarded 2nd prize in the 2013 KAO International Kinetic Art Competition. Read more < >

Innovation "Hello World!", first episode about Processing is a must-watch We couldn’t wait to see Ultra-Lab’s video documentaries about the primary programming tools used by digital artists, beginning with Processing and Open Frameworks. Read more < >

MYO, unleash your inner Jedi Basically, it is a strap that you wrap around your arm between your wrist and your elbow. The strap is stuffed with sensors, which detect muscle activity and arm motions. It is said to be precise enough to detect the gestures of a single finger. Read more < >



Dernières news du Artlab Focus While the Artlab consolidates a number of technical resources, its value comes from the people who comprise it, the visitors who support it and the rich exchanges among all contributors that result from it. This synergy of skills and imagination makes Artlab a hub of creativity and research. Overview of what this human emulation makes possible. < >









From January 15 to 18, Artlab resident Antonin Fourneau hosted a workshop for a group of six Paris 8 students in Digitalarti’s Artlab, assisted by staff technician Alexandre Saunier. More than a simple workshop, these four days were a preparation for the 13th Eniarof (November 8-9, 2013 in Aix-en-Provence), Antonin’s ongoing digital funfair project. This was also an opportunity to inaugurate the brand-new workshop room. Read more…

Since late November, Nicolas de Melodiane has exhibited three pieces of his Melodiane project in the Artlab entranceway. Melodiane is an imaginary, future utopic society. Over the course of this long-term project, Nicolas imagines, draws and writes to describe life on 900, a spherical city growing in the clouds, which encapsulates an entire civilization. As the architect of a precise, organized and detailed dream, he examines aspects such as the education system, legal proceedings and agriculture of the 900 inhabitants, also known as Melodians. Read more…

The Artlab is also a space for research and development. Currently, our attention is turned to the open source single-board computer Raspberry Pi (wikipedia link). Every month, we have the pleasure of hosting several experienced developers for sessions of Raspberry Sushi. For an entire afernoon and evening, they are free to use the Artlab’s equipment to try, test and search for new applications of Raspberry Pi and then develop the fruits of their first successful trials. Read more…

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After Jason Cook’s Hall Effect, which colorfully illuminated each person’s stairway passing, Artlab residents are going wild over this common space. Thanks to a transmitter radio, the data of each individual passing is uploaded to a server, where it can then be used to connect various devices. Read more…

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Between the world-famous Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Midtown Manhattan and a tiny gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, digital art is breaking down the walls—physical, virtual, institutional and technocratic... well beyond New York City.

It’s these visions of reality “augmented” by subversive images that provoke our perception: an aerial view of Art Basel Miami 2012 completely flooded; the body of a Foxconn employee who committed suicide on the floor of an Apple Store in Manhattan; ethnic minority children dancing on the islands of Disneyland’s “Small World” ride; avatars of Occupy Wall Street protestors in front of the New York Stock Exchange, in Shanghai and in Tokyo; the Statue of Liberty, the wall separating Israel from Palestine, every trace of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing North and South Korea… erased.

AR Intervention @ Devotion Gallery. On March 2, 2013, MoMA opened an unprecedented exhibition that inaugurates the first public glimpse of its budding collection of video games. In other words, it goes without saying that these games are art. Entitled “Applied Design”, the exhibition invites us to contemplate, if not play, 14 classic games (among other physical objects and digital works) distinguished for their exceptional “interaction design”. Design, but not just graphic. It’s where code becomes the raw material for sculpting an experience, painting behaviors, defining the interaction between the player and the world inside the game. You could judge the quality of this digital interaction the same way you might consider the harmony between form and content in a physical artwork. This non-nostalgic opening selection of 14 games is the seed for the permanent collection of MoMA’s Architecture and Design department, which should grow to include about 40 games in the following years. Embedded in the black walls, the games are soberly displayed, either along with an input device or in demo mode. Thus, you can enjoy playing Passage for five colorful, musical and moving minutes, before immersing yourself in the neighboring mute video demo of Dwarf Fortress in RGB ASCII. Among the show’s many wonders is

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Vib-Ribbon, one of the first Japanese games propelled by music, and the all-time classics Pac-Man and Tetris (original ASCII version) from the 1980s, entirely playable. As the games are displayed to emphasize their historical and cultural relevance, it’s interesting to (re)discover them among other artifacts of “applied design”: an animated map of flight patterns, 3D-printed chairs, a biodegradable wind-powered GPS deminer, etc. In an institutional landscape where video games are often lost somewhere between interactive art and technical exploit, MoMA frames them in the context of general culture. But if this well-respected modern museum indeed “opens the door to this avalanche of video game art” (according to Paola Antonelli, exhibition curator), it also poses the very serious question of how museums can effectively conserve digital interactive artworks. Meanwhile in the little Devotion Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, founded by artists/musicians and dedicated to the interactions between art, science, design and new media, Mark Skwarek opened his solo retrospective exhibition “AR Intervention”: AR as in augmented reality; intervention as in the 15 juxtapositions staged by the artist employing this technology

But the real AR inauguration is of the iOS application creatAR, developed by Skwarek and his team, which allows even non-ARsavvy fans to conjure up their own image and position it in augmented reality. Simply download the app on your smartphone or tablet, then type the name of an image file (or a word to search in a database of preexisting images). You can either enter an exact physical address or see the virtual object download in situ, before moving it around using the interface on your mobile device. The ghosts of William Gibson’s novel Spook Country have become that much more accessible to the general public. Augmented reality: techno-gimmick or artistic territory? Way back in 2010, the artists Mark Skwarek and Sander Veenhof didn’t wait for MoMA’s invitation to exhibit their invisible artworks within. Skwarek’s very first intervention, “We AR in MoMA”, which hijacked the museum galleries’ GPS coordinates, already opened the doors wide to an impending avalanche of augmented art. CHERISE FONG

FURTHER INFORMATION: Applied Design, exhibition at MoMA, New York, through January 31, 2014 < > creatAR < > Devotion Gallery < > Mark Skwarek < > EVE Online (2003).




toward activist means. Hanging on the walls like paintings are screenshots from smartphones and tablets showing digital images, positioned and displayed using geolocation coordinates, superposed on real scenes as seen by the device’s camera.


LAST ROOM / DÉPLI In Buzz, Frank Roze called our attention to the entertainment industry, which is developing more and more multi-format, multi-media projects [see Digitalarti mag #12]. This multi-platform trend seems to have (finally?) contaminated “pure” art. In a sense, Pierre Carniaux and Thierry Fournier’s Last Room / Dépli box set (DVD + iPad app + book) is the proof. The origin of this “tryptych” is Pierre Carniaux’s Last Room, a film that premiered at FIDMarseille 2011. It’s a documentary shot in Japan about those tiny spaces rented out to salarymen and other lost urbanites in tentacular megalopolises. These “capsule hotels” offer their client a few square meters that are closer to a coffin than to a suite, albeit equipped to Japanese standards of comfort (TV, Internet, bath…).

With an almost veiled image that is a bit troubled and troubling, Carniaux films the occupants of these high-tech lairs. They tell their story or stories… But more than portraits, it’s bodies, dressed or nude, that Carniaux captures in these snapshots. Thierry Fournier, whom we interviewed for his interactive stage project Seul Richard based on Shakespeare [see Digitalarti mag #5], has made a parallel, almost infinitely modulable version of this “neo-realist” film. Titled Dépli, this “mirror” piece is an application for iPad. The shots and footage of the film are “unfolded” and available to the “viewer 2.0”, who is invited to recompose a cinematographic plot by “mixing” the scenes, their sequence, etc. Co-published by Shellac & Pandore as a box set that includes both the DVD of Carniaux’s film and a download link, as well as a serial number to access Fournier’s application, this unidentified visual object is also “fixed” on paper. A book offers screenshots and photos of screenings, in-situ iPad images, complementary information on the artist’s process and, above all, texts by Jean-Pierre Rehm (FIDMarseille director), Philippe Avril (producer), Anne-Lou Vicente (art critic, exhibition curator and co-director of VOLUME magazine), Nicolas Feodoroff (art critic, FIDMarseille programmer).

Pierre Carniaux / Thierry Fournier, Last Room / Dépli (Box set: DVD + iPad app + book), Shellac & Pandore. < >

NET REVOLUTIONS The tagline on Ariel Kyrou’s new book on the generation and revolutions “made in” Internet is particularly significant: Run, avatar, the old world is behind you! By “remixing” the famous slogan of May 1968 — Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!, also the title of one of Jean-Louis Brau’s best works written in the heat of that year when anything was possible — he measures better than any academic study just how much our world has changed. It’s a “change in continuity”, nonetheless, as the roots of protest remain the same (against authority, market laws, etc). It’s the means of expression and distribution, of course, that are differ-

ent. The old world still stirs; or rather, its corpse is still moving. We have only to witness the endless dilemma of “copyright versus right to copy” (or to share, depending on your point of view…), Net neutrality, etc. Kyrou opens his book with this war of the worlds, even though this antagonism cannot be reduced to a bipolar confrontation, and that numerous shades of gray can be perceived in this recomposition, which also sketches out a new individual. Such an individual is ubiquitous and has access to universal knowledge through his screen, as Michel Serres observes in Petite Poucette [see Digitalarti mag #10]. This recurring reference helps us to understand the individual and his imaginary virtual worlds, as well as the new forms of power and counter-power (influencial bloggers, anonymous, etc.) that are finally and unfortunately begetting revolts that are just as (literally) disembodied as they are disenchanted, compared to those of our elders…

Ariel Kyrou, Révolutions Du Net : ces anonymes qui changent le monde published by Inculte / essays. < > digitalarti #13 - 07


SOUND PALETTE On the sidelines of the exhibition "Leonardo da Vinci, projects, drawings, machines" at La Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris, the museum’s publications and transmedia team has developed a contemplative application. If the Italian painter mixed science and creativity, the application "Leonardo da Vinci’s dream machine" crafts a digital and interactive, visual and sound composition around his visionary world. What would Leonardo da Vinci do with an iPad? If we dare to imagine what a visionary artist as inventive as this Italian painter could do with digital tools, why not retrace his creative journey using the full potential of new media? Initiated by La Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, designed by Nicolas Clauss, a creator of interactive works, Jean-Jacques Birgé,

composer, and with the notable participation of Vincent Ségal (Bumcello) on crossbow and cello, the application Leonardo da Vinci’s dream machine responds to the in situ exhibition Leonardo da Vinci, projects, drawings, machines—with no educational agenda. Yves de Ponsay, project manager of the application at La Cité des Sciences, explains: This application is part of a deliberate strategy to tap into new forms of writing. One of our objectives is to reach new audiences through a different kind of digital media. As such, this dream machine developed for iPad 2 and 3—in order to fully exploit the potential of high-definition graphics—gives no explanations on the exhibition, but instead complements Da Vinci’s world, based on his own energy.

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The idea was not to mirror the exhibition. The guidelines were very clear in this regard, and the artistic aspect was fundamental, continues De Ponsay. We can nonetheless consider that the exhibition and the application respond to each other through Da Vinci and his pictorial creative process, where painting was science. Today, painting is digital, technological, generated.

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It’s a new digital product that utilizes the resources of Apple’s iPad and iOS. Nicolas Clauss and Jean-Jacques Birgé therefore took inspiration from Da Vinci and his visual studies of interdisciplinarity, albeit without copying him. The application offers much fewer visuals of the painter’s work than we might expect—tanks, architectural images, photographs are transparently juxtaposed with the artist’s wellknown images, giving way to visual and audio experimentation and experience. In short, impatience will get you nowhere. Despite the app’s lack of educational vocation and clearly marked conclusions, after several interactive and exploratory sessions, we can begin to appreciate a relatively unprecedented graphical and musical world resulting from the meeting of musicians, developers and artists who know each other’s work well, as De Ponsay confirms: I knew that pairing up JeanJacques Birgé and Nicolas Clauss with limited means could only be a good thing. What’s more, Jean-Jacques and Vincent Segal often enjoy playing together regularly. The musical interpretation of the visuals is the result of this eclectic experience—as well as JeanJacques’s very open film-school background at La Femis—toward a certain image of music. The duo was entirely free to create, while respecting the importance of being able to link the application to social networks and fulfill a clear goal: To invite appreciation, exploration, understanding and questioning. The project offers a new approach to our relationship with the artwork. Then it’s up to the viewer to put the images to music. As an introduction, two sequential screens in the form of slates explain the various gestures that can be used to animate the dream machine—rotate, zoom, touch corners, double-tap—as a series of videos illustrates the fingertip combinations. Then we are presented with a box of torn tickets. Each touch triggers a musical note, which, if we accelerate the movement, creates a random, resounding symphony. As we continue to explore, we finally understand that the last remaining ticket is the key to enter a graphical and musical world. This activates four distinct HD videos. We can touch and drag the videos in order to focus on a single one, zoom out, zoom in, play with the image until it freezes into a window. The music then focuses on a more specific world, where distorting the image also affects the

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Leonardo da Vinci's Dream Machine, Work for iPad by Nicolas Clauss and Jean-Jacques Birgé.

sounds: one tap blurs the image; a second tap adds a new layer. High or low-pitched, solo, ensemble, strange image textures, disturbing atmospheres, deformed faces, juxtaposed images… Nothing is forbidden, quite the contrary. If you don’t really know where you’re going, what plays out on the screen and to our ears is fascinating, almost psychedelic. The possibilities are endless: They correspond to multiple combinations and random apparitions, says De Ponsay. It’s a generative mode that uses specific algorithms. Twenty little pieces of codex (torn papers in the box) trigger a fixed quantity of “dreams”, which are combined from the library of predefined elements. Exploring all the various, and very subjective, combinations between images and sounds can take an extensive length of time. De Ponsay reckons it can range from half an hour to several hours. Any tips? Let yourself go, without prejudice, have fun, enjoy it, dig in to discover things with your own tastes, emotions and empathy. In the same way that we might contemplate a group of exhibited artworks, Leonardo da Vinci’s dream machine can be viewed like a gallery, mixing old

paintings and modern possibilities, of which you, the users, are the primary authors. A dreamlike ode, a completely interactive visual and sound picture that leads us to question the artistic status of some applications. Can they become works of art? Raoul Pictor, the virtual pocket artist on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch(1) who delivers infinitely unique paintings that are free to print, would most certainly reply in the affirmative. Then we have only to give free reign to the imaginations of more advanced and willing developers. When a tablet becomes a palette… CÉCILE BECKER (1) Free application inspired by the work of the artist Hervé Graumann, available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch >

FURTHER INFORMATION: < > The application Leonardo da Vinci’s dream machine for iPad 2 and 3 is free to download on iTunes. Exhibition Leonardo da Vinci, projects, drawings, machines at La Cité des Sciences, Paris, through August 18, 2013. >

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The projects at the crossroads of art and research supported by Atelier Arts Sciences are perfectly in line with CEA’s mission to valorize technology, carried out on the site of Polygone Scientifique in Grenoble. This dynamic is complemented by the mediation and nearby fabrication facilities of the associate organization CCSTI.

Les Flacons, Ez3kiel, Hexagone Scène nationale de Meylan / Rencontres-1, Biennale Arts-Sciences 2009.

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Innovation and hybridization In Grenoble, connections between art, research, education and industry seem to have found a fertile ground. Situated on a peninsula, the aptly named Polygone Scientifique continues its implants, making it one of the most advanced poles of technological innovation in Europe, with more than 4,000 researchers. At the heart of

these sensitive and therefore well-guarded core organizations—featuring CNRS, ST Micro, CEA and its famous Synchrotron particle accelerator—one team is working on a specific mission. Atelier Arts Sciences, founded in 2007 by CEA and the national theater Hexagone, joined last year by CCSTI (Center for Industrial and Technical Scientific Culture), aims to bring together artists and researchers in defining and producing common projects where the technology at work demonstrates innovative and hybrid collaboration. It’s important for the university, research and companies to connect through culture and art, says Antoine Conjard, director of Hexagone and founder of Atelier, as if to better lay out the stakes. With its numerous research laboratories— CEA-LETI (Electronics Laboratory of Information Technology), CEA-LIST, more oriented toward software development, or CEA-LITEN, focused on renewable energy—CEA has an army of researchers, whom Atelier associates with the artistic projects it chooses to support. Such projects are developed over residencies spread out over varying lengths of time, but which we try to make at least two years, says Eliane Sausse, Atelier’s director. While creativity and exchanges between artists and researchers take place over time, they are punctuated by high points and showcases, such as the biennial Rencontres-i (next edition in October 2013) and the annual Experimenta expo. The idea behind these exhibitions is to introduce professionals to technology that is brought about by artists and potentially useful to other artists, but also to innovative companies, Sausse emphasizes.

From “artisanal” to industrial transfer The researcher Angelo Guiga has participated in Atelier’s program since the begin-

ning, and has contributed to numerous projects. Along with Yann Nguema and his music group EZ3kiel, he developed the scenic sound balloon or Mécaniques Poétiques, the poetic mechanics of the madona-theremin or flakes with multiple levels of auditory drunkenness. The artists offer us a different vision, he confides. And this gives us leads to develop new projects. He and Italian composer Michele Tadini are exploring sound/light relationships, as in the primary-color combinations of the chromatophore, a synesthetic device that the duo is currently transforming into a working light-music composition tool for the project La Terza Luce. If the artistic concept is the guiding thread and the creative process is almost “artisanal” (according to Antoine Conjard), transferring the technology to the industry is no less taken into consideration. Hence CEA’s transversal organization SPICE (Service Pour l’Innovation Centrée Expérience utilisateur), directed by JeanLuc Vallejo. Its mission is not only to allow the financing and availability of researchers for projects, but also to follow through with any derived products by supporting the launch of dedicated startups. This idea can also be found in the project Pixel Motion, which Guiga and Nguema are currently working on. Regarding these light pixels, Vallejo has already commented on their potential for derived products, for example in the form of light installations for concert halls.

Technology showroom In order to fully appreciate this policy of valorizing technology supported by CEA, not only within Atelier Arts Sciences but also in the context of its own research, one must visit the site’s “innovation catalyst” showroom. In a science-fiction decor with a mosaic design, several research


objects demonstrate CEA’s radiant activity. Motions sensors are duly represented. Guiga has been working for the past 15 years on this technology, which has since been miniaturized into the portable intelligence of Motion IC, an object whose quality accelerometer and magnetometer allow for extreme precision in detecting movement, speed and direction. We relay the basics and the patents to the industry, Guiga explains. Among potential applications, sensors embedded in fabrics to create LED shows seems ideal for fashion and events. Other sensors are more suited to the domestic ergonomics of the future home, for example, presence sensors that automatically turn down the heating or turn on the lights in a room. All can be directly controlled with a smartphone, thanks to a specially designed communication protocol common to all sensors via middleware. Within this high-tech scenography, the cabinet of curiosities, which includes some of the objects developed by Atelier Arts Sciences, fits right in and even adds a hint of poetry. There we can find Madone, the latest version of EZ3kiel’s sound and light balloon reinforced by gyroscopic lights, Tadini and Guiga’s chromatophore, where LEDs placed around a graph converge to the center in wavelengths, superposed with musical layers depending on the effects. The strange object Toimiva, a sort of origami basket, seems to come alive when touched or manipulated. It perfectly entertains this organic proximity with

technology that the creations of Atelier Arts Science so enjoy entertaining.

Fablab for all Another organization shares this idea of proximity, both between the object’s design and production, as well as with the public. Actively supporting Atelier Arts Sciences since last October, one of CCSTI’s missions is to mediate with the general public and make digital fabrication tools available for personal projects within its fablab. At CCSTI, we think about transmission, mediation between culture, science and technology, explains its director Laurent Chicoineau. For the Living Lab project, for example, we devised interfaces—using augmented reality on smartphone, geotagging, etc.—developed especially for the general public and mediators. Then we implement evaluation protocols and tests in order to transfer them to other fields of application… It’s remarkable how the cultural sector allows us to test these kinds of things. This willingness to open up research to others is fundamental and goes hand-inhand with Atelier Arts Sciences, as the interfaces devised are presented at Experimenta, in addition to outside festivals such as Muséomix. But inside the fablab, public access is more direct, with a range of equipment on par with MIT’s (CCSTI has a direct relationship with the labs of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the first fablab was born from an educational

program and the concept of networked fablabs). It’s important for us to find concrete prototyping ideas that can be tested with the public, insists Chicoineau. We work with artists like Ezra, who came here to design his 3D glove, developed at Atelier Arts Sciences. But we’re also open to a younger public and to anyone who wants to try out their ideas. And these can be very big, as the young Dutch engineer in charge of the fablab, Jean-Michel Molenaar, remembers one person who used a 3D mill to make a rudder for his boat! We make the machines available to the public and only charge them for the fabrication time, he says, while regretting the difficulty in documenting all these past creations. We put up a website where people can describe their creations, their methodology, to help others carry out similar projects… We also accompany people throughout the process. With 900 projects developed in less than a year, one can imagine the stock of potentially accessible knowledge. And there is no shortage of ideas, as the CCSTI team is currently contemplating a greenlab on its rooftop, a real vegetable garden above ground, nourished by solar panels and sensors for watering the plants.

Angelo Guiga / Michele Tadini, La Terza Luce @ Experimenta 2012.


FURTHER INFORMATION: Atelier Arts Sciences < > CCSTI < >

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From haute couture prototypes to new materials used in construction, the "Futurotextiles" exhibition showcases a wide range of textile applications, emphasizing both innovation in the field of biotechnology and the integration of IT in fiber: natural, synthetic and hybrid.

Bio-synthetic As an introduction, explanatory bubbles pop up to tell us about the diverse components involved in making the spools, announcing a bright future ahead for ecofriendly applied research, where milk casein, coffee, strawberry root or beet are included in the composition of fibers, right alongside cotton and linen. The Mabiolac project, launched in 2003, focuses on the fabrication of composite and biodegradable polymer threads based on PLA, a polyactic acid made from fermented beet saccharine. The same process that nullifies the release of gases and oxidants can also be applied to corn, wheat and potatoes! So why not use the roots of strawberries or cherry tomatoes to genetically create a “natural” fiber that is just as flexible and resistant as a polymer derived from the petrochemical industry? Such questions are posed by Carole Collet, research professor and deputy director of the Textile Futures Research Center at Central Saint Martins College, University of the Arts London(1). How can synthetic biology and living technologies radically change the design and manufacturing of our current consumer products? she asks, as a preamble to her research for more eco-friendly solutions.


Vincenzo, luminescent clothing.

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Initiated in Lille in 2006 by the curator Caroline David and recently deployed at CETI (Centre Européen des Textiles Innovants) for the Lille Fantastic festival in 2012, Futurotextiles returns to France on its world tour ending in Paris, at La Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, through July 14, 2013.

The exhibition is spread out among islands of information that classify textile innovation by industrial sector: fashion, medicine, housing, construction, transportation, etc. But linen is present throughout as the eco-friendly material par excellence, with France as the top producer worldwide. Highly valued in the development of composite objects, linen

fiber, associated with a mixture of resin, is gradually replacing plastics for its flexibility and resistance in the manufacturing of tennis rackets, skis, surfboards and helmets(2), as well as on the dashboards of vehicles such as Twizy, the new concept car by Renault. Specialized in processing this light and efficient material, the Dehondt group is exhibiting its Scube®, an electric eco-tricycle designed in 2011 that is entirely encased in linen fiber.

Eco-friendly Hanging on the fashion podium are prototypes by stylists in search of pure esthetics of fluidity and comfort, just as inspired by recyclable natural materials as by technical, sensorial, connected or “intelligent” fabrics, where embedded sensors and other substances give the garment even more uses. Created by the artist Helen Storey and the chemist Tony Ryan, Herself is a “photocatalytic” evening gown made of polyester and silk imbued with a curious mixture of cement and titanium dioxide (TiO2), which purifies the air around it by way of light radiation(3). A little further, a much less glamorous suit developed by Ouvry laboratories, which specialize in NRBC design systems(4), is a self-decontaminating outfit for use in high-risk nuclear, xray or bacterial environments. Based on a non-woven filtrating medium, but composed of active carbon microbeads, it blocks toxins while filtering out water vapor, so that the skin of our contemporary superheroes can breathe.

Technical These highly technical materials, developed in the fields of civil and military pro-


View from fashion podium.


Ouvry self-decontaminating outfit.

tection, are investing new sectors of textile applications. The French already refer to “cosmétotextiles” and “texticaments”, which integrate new processes such as micro or nano encapsulation—an expertise of the company Devan, whose technique aims to incorporate into micro-capsules fragile active agents that are likely to oxidize when in contact with others that are composed or released by friction when wearing the garment. Others are making T-shirts that refresh bodies engaged in sports, cosmetic brands that are considering the encapsulation of perfumes, while medical research is examining how to use the same process to release healing products. Soon, they say, our clothes will not only filter in curative chemical substances, they will also monitor our heartbeat, our temperature, our insulin… and why not alert the physician in case of critical failure? And if fabric engineering has clearly made progress when it comes to reforming organs, or even using them to replace skin or cartilage, the natural anti-bacterial caracteristics of crab chitin used to make surgical thread and artificial skin still seem

unparalleled! In short, biomimetism has a future in textiles.

Optics Among the most ingenious “Medtex” (medical) applications, Philips has developed a sort of blanket, based on micro LEDs, that replaces the current treatment for jaundice in infants. When the baby is placed under a lamp emitting blue light, the “bilirubin” not only wraps around the entire surface of the infant’s body, it bathes it in the LEDs’ constant healing light source. It’s one of the rare artificial light sources that can be placed so close to the skin. Micro LED and fiberglass are currently at the heart of research in all fields of textile applications, from construction to garments. For even if people in Mesopotamia have been aware of the properties of glass for the past 5,000 years, it wasn’t until 1970 that Corning laboratory developed the first fibre optics from a material that is abundant, non-polluting and recyclable, which, when heated to very high temperatures, can be “threaded” and spooled. As a determining component of the digital revolution, interwoven fibre optics allow us not only to play with color, but to convey all sorts of information. Emblematic of the show, the collar of micro LEDs embedded in the conductive fabric of the little dress Mood Swings designed by Sensoree’s Kristin Neidlinger reveals, in variations of pink to blue, tangible information captured by a sensor placed in the palm of your hand. Considered “technical”, as they were originally intended for industrial purposes, integrated into airplane engines, under the rails of the TGV to signal distortions, or under bridges in earthquake-prone regions, fabrics that were already valued for their flexibility and resistance to

extreme temperatures are announcing a revolution in the fields of construction, housing and home automation, etc, just as they are becoming interconnected and boosting a market segment that has been expanding in the past years(5). Completed by a few creative applications in the design field, the Futurotextiles exhibition clearly displays all the possible collaborations and synergies between ancestral knowledge and high-end technology within an industry said to be “in crisis”, where simply being aware of this wide range of applications changes our relationship to our daily lives and the environment, irreversibly. VÉRONIQUE GODÉ (1) — (2) (3) (4) Ouvry laboratories work with the National Agency for Research on NRBC (Nuclear, Radiological, Biological, Chemical and Explosive) protection systems. (5) The turnover of the textile industry is estimated at 13 billion euros in France, with 70,000 employees. France holds 40% of the technical textiles market in Europe, ranked second behind Germany.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Futurotextiles, through July 14, 2013 at La Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie. < >

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INTERACTIVE FRONTIERS Parisian gallery Denise René’s "Kinetic Art – Digital Art" exhibition is an exercise in assimilating these two arts that goes without saying. Here, movement and interaction are expressed in works where the viewer is more than ever at the center of the artistic process.

+ D’INFO : Kinetic Art – Digital Art, Denise René Gallery, from April 25, 2013. < >

With a Julio Le Parc exhibition at Palais de Tokyo, a presentation of works by Jesús-Rafael Soto within Centre Pompidou’s National Museum of Modern Art, in addition to two more discreet, but just as essential, retrospectives of these two leading artists in Denise René’s two spaces— on Rue Charlot and on Boulevard SaintGermain—, kinetic art has kicked off 2013 with mainstream visibility. Witness the monumental show Luminous! Dynamic! Space and vision in art, from 1913 until now, which just opened at Le Grand Palais and goes well beyond a retrospective of artworks by the great masters. In this context, Denise René gallery demonstrates its avant-gardist vision as the spearhead of kinetic art—it is the oldest dedicated space in Europe, founded by Denise René and his sister Lucienne in 1944 in order to show the drawings and graphic compositions of Victor Vasarely. They later produced the exhibition Le Mouvement, curated with Pontus Hulten, which marked the official birth of kinetic art in 1955. For Kinetic Art – Digital Art, the gallery presents a more circumstantial assimilation between kinetic art and digital art, which is currently undergoing a renewal, not only in overall principles but also in tools, practices and with some of the most talented representatives of this

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new generation of artists. It’s a true turning point, both for the potential evolution of kinetic art and as an opportunity for media art to become one of the major art movements of the 20th century.

Shared principles Bringing together these two arts seems evident. Both kinetic art and digital art share two common principles. First, the importance of movement, which in either case can go as far as destabilizing our perception. Despite their differences, the audio-visual installations of Kurt Hentschläger and the mirror-play of Julio Le Parc are based on the same physical radicalism, for example using strobe effects, in order to induce extreme sensory motility. Then, of course, there’s the concept of interacting with the viewer. Digital artworks almost all crucially involve the user/viewer’s intervention. Kinetic art can only be seen from a randomly moving viewpoint, thus exemplifying the concept of the “fourth dimension” developed by the artist Yaacov Agam. In practice, the last few years have seen mutual creativity. Since the 1980s, major kinetic artists such as Yaacov Agam or Carlos Cruz-Diez have gradually integrated new media into their works, updating their optical, modular and geometric strategies.

Even now, they continue to follow the latest developments in technology, expressing their questioning of memory through their questioning of computer systems. Conversely, artists of the generation that grew up with software and algorithmic matrixes are drawing inspiration from kinetic precepts, making the computer the vehicule of a certain esthetic continuity. The Kinetic Art – Digital Art exhibition is part of this thrilling parallel, as it presents artworks by pioneers who have converted to digital as well as pieces by digital artists equally tempted by movement through the collision of the viewer’s gaze and geometric abstraction. Cruz-Diez has already appropriated the “interactive digitized manipulation” trend. His piece Interactive Random Chromatic Experience is a software program that allows users to compose shapes and color harmonies from virtual materials of the “Cruz-Diez” language, giving the software program the role of mediator between artist and viewer. The transformable digital painting can be found in other pieces by essential kinetic artists in the show, especially in the two interactive works by Yaacov Agam. Viewers are invited to reorganize a space represented on a touch-screen by moving prisms around with their fingers. But this


approach to new media is even more pronounced by the next generation of artists. It’s evident in Santiago Torres’ interactive projection Real-Time Frame, where the artist uses the now-familiar kinect to process movement-recognition in a threedimensional space.

Light and chromatic incidences Another piece by Torres reveals the interesting filiation concerning light in both kinetic and digital arts. Made from a particularly innovative material, Torres’ highly contemplative light installation Composition Rouge clearly references Julio Le Parc’s Continuel Mobiles Lumières series. We find the same unpredictable contrasts, the same titillating optical illusions. This converging fascination with light is reinforced by common references in chromatic research, for example. Such is the case of the environmental piece m0za1que, already presented at La Maison Mécatronique in Annecy-leVieux, by the Brussels-based artist group Lab[au]. This fascinating work features a wall mosaic on which RGB light projections seem to intermittently “liberate” the slippery moves of its trembling tiles in perspective, gently evoking Cruz-Diez and his Chromointerférences. As in this last piece, where the intersection of different color frames provoked

chromatic variations depending on the viewer’s position and therefore on the apparent juxtaposition of these frames, Lab[au]’s installation uses the fake prisms formed by the tiles to instill a visual mutation of the projected colors. Interestingly, this theme of mutation can also be found in another exhibited piece by Lab[au], on a more generative scale. Their Pixflow #2 is a screen-sculpture with a life of its own, visualizing abstract forms resulting from the changing flow of particles and pixels in a curious interference of organic and technological fields.

Sound renewal Other works in the exhibition by this new generation of artists attempt to remain loyal to the kinetic art esthetic, by confronting simple elements such as thread, cardboard or small motors with the reality of mathematical experiments. This is especially true of the predominantly mechanical circular ballets designed by Elias Crespin, even if the movement is controlled by a computer. Whether it’s in the red and white spirals of his new Circuconcentricos, or in the choreographed suspension of metal bars in his Paralela—a variation of his famous Parallels series—we can see the artist’s willingness to explore all unknown structures originating from the

movement of these apparently strict architectures. This esthetic continuity is even more interesting when it opens a new “perspective” in the renewal of kinetic art—namely, through sound. Such is the case of Pe Lang’s Moving objects n° 807 and New Ring Work, where occasionally opposing mechanical forces wreak havoc in a system of ropes and rings. In these pieces, as in Swiss artist Zimoun’s 121 prepared dcmotors, tension springs 35 mn, the acoustic quality of the sound is equally important. Here, algorithmic movement is expressed both by the creation, repetition and perpetual disturbance of a same mechanical movement and by the simultaneous translation of its audible incidences. We also hear it, as associating a sound expression with the motion of the pieces is just as likely to enrich the vocabulary of kinetic art.

m0za1que, installation variation 01, kinetic light art LAb[au], 2013 system : generative

The Kinetic Art – Digital Art exhibition’s moving and interactive boundaries offer yet more proof that it’s not so much the technical nature of these new works as their capacity to awaken the senses of the viewers—who are always at the heart of the artwork—that makes this hybrid artistic convergence always relevant. LAURENT CATALA

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THE ART OF INTERACTIVE CINEMA Famous for pioneering the use of digital media within virtual, cinematographic, interactive and expanded environments, Australian artist Jeffrey Shaw was one of the first to create hybrid installations, such as "The Legible City", in which the viewer rides a real bike in front of a big screen to explore a virtual city. After many years of working with more high-tech cinematic processes at institutions such as the iCinema Research Centre of the University of New South Wales and the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong, Jeffrey Shaw continues to focus on devices and systems that are centered on the viewer of the artwork.

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Robert Lepage / Ex Machina, Fragmentation (ReACTOR), 2011.

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These days, people are used to real-time experiences through digital media. But at the time of your early works, what inspired

your interest in interactive and immersive installations, placing the viewer at the heart of the artwork? The focus on interactivity in my art practice is based on the desire to construct a new and dynamic relationship between the artwork and the viewer. It grew out of a disillusion with the traditional modes of artistic production (painting, sculpture, etc) that by the 1960s seemed to have lost the ability to engage the viewer in a deep and attentive manner. To use Guy Debord’s terminology, modern art seemed to have been totally consumed into the “society of spectacle”. In the process of researching different modalities of interactivity, I discovered one essential property of such art installations—they not only called upon the viewer’s action, but they also allowed themselves to be discovered, steered and modified by the viewer’s actions. So, in effect, viewers became my partners in the creation of the work by becoming the agents of its unique performances. This very interesting and powerful proper-

ty (from a conceptual, esthetic and expressive point of view) was very much facilitated by new media. Especially those digital media that were software-based, because the articulation of the artwork’s interactivity is largely defined in its software architecture, abetted by the design of its user interface.

It seems that your work has always been influenced by cinema. Your first works in the 1960s were about filming ("Continuous Sound and Image Moments, Corpocinema, Moviemovie"). I also remember your "Future Cinema" exhibition in 2003, co-curated with Peter Weibel at the ZKM. Why such an interest in cinema? The cinema is undoubtedly the boldest technical and esthetic achievement of the 20th century. It is the gesamtkunstwerk [total art piece] of our time, a conceptual and esthetic platform where so many aspirations of art practice over the centuries reach a culmination. Therefore, it is appropriate that an experimental art practice, such as mine, would take the cinema as a context and frame of reference for pushing the boundaries of an art to come. As I wrote in Future Cinema, [published by MIT Press in 2002], cinema’s great traditions of experiment, by both filmmakers and artists, were being lost because of the hegemony of Hollywood’s modalities of film production and visual storytelling, so I felt it was necessary to subvert this model and locate my own researches in an “expanded cinema”, where the genius of cinema could again be extended into new directions of artistic expression and viewer experience.

The idea of interactive cinema came very early in your works—when you were involved in the Research group in Amsterdam in the 1970s, and later at the ZKM in Karlsruhe, where you initiated "EVE" interactive cinema. In EVE, viewers were immersed in a film and chose what they wanted to see, becoming both the cameraman and editor of each screening. Jean-Michel Bruyère ("Si Poteris narrare, licet") and Ulf Langheinrich ("Perm") also used this device. Did you see the combination of cinema and interaction as the logical evolution of cinema? Yes. Since the late ’60s I felt that an “interactive cinema” was the logical and most interesting advance that could be made in an ‘expanded cinema’ art practice. It enabled the expressive power, and idealism, of the cinematic gesamtkunstwerk to be brought into a personal and intimate relationship with the viewer. And it was the opportunity to break loose from the compulsive linear narrative forms of traditional cinema and to discover, and craft, a much more interesting new range of inter-

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Sarah Kenderdine & Jeffrey Shaw, ReACTOR, 2008.

active narrative structures. Jean-Michel and Ulf are artists who also took up this challenge, and each in their own way have brilliantly pushed the esthetic boundaries of this contemporary “youniverse” of “interactive narrative”.

You always like to develop new creative platforms, beginning in the 1990s with "Extended Virtual Environment" in 1993, "PLACE" and "Panoramic Navigator" in 1995. What was the interactive key to these projects? I have explored, and sometimes invented, many modalities of interactivity in my art practice. Certain denominators appear in many different guises in these works. It is pertinent that two of my earliest installations were titled Viewpoint (Paris, 1986), and Points of View (Amsterdam, 1989), because what I was researching were optical systems that gave the viewer personal methods, and personal control, of seeing and exploring the artworks’ spaces of representation. Whereas in the cinema we as viewers are always looking through the eye of a camera that is being controlled by the director, EVE and PLACE are an expanded cinema, where the interactive viewer can

control the movement of this virtual camera, and in so doing also takes control of the editing of narrative unfolding of that artwork. The objective is that we, the public, see and experience the artwork through our own eyes, and in this way take possession of, and become complicit in, its narrative unfolding. Interestingly, this ‘personal possession’ of the process of viewing even extends to those viewers who are inactively just watching what someone else is doing, because they experience it as a unique never-to-be-repeated performance.

Place has driven your most spectacular works, such as "Yer-Turkiye"’s 3D panoramic photographic scenes and spatialized recordings from Turkish sources, or "Place-Hampi" using Indian sources… Is the idea of traveling, of connecting people to another field of knowledge, also very important in your work? In an art practice, there are many possible “places” that can become spaces of representation. As in the cinema, the location is as much a protagonist as are the actors. Furthermore, the history of art is a history of cross-references and re-appropriation, because art operates in the larger domain

of human culture and memory. If my art practice can be summed up as strategy of ‘seeing and experiencing anew’, and through interactivity “discovering anew”, then it’s not surprising that the richness of such cultural contexts as Turkish and Indian heritage are things, and topics, that attract my deep interest. The esthetic imaginary is not only a space of invention. It is also a space of reclamation, reformulation and re-interpretation.

This 360-degree approach led you to create a more specific immersive device, the AVIE (Advanced Visualisation and Interaction Environment) system, a cylindrical silver projection piece, with a set of 12 video screens, designed for single and multiple-user interaction using a joystick, iPod or vision-tracking system (with polarizing glasses). Many artists have used this system, including Ulf Langheinrich ("Alluvium") and JeanMichel Bruyère ("La Dispersion du Fils"), as well as your own "T_Visionarium" project. Other artists have also worked on very similar systems (Luc Courchesne, SAT team in Montreal for the building’s 360° dome, Naut Humon / RML’s Cinema Chamber for live multimedia performance)… Are you still working on improving

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Jean-Michel Bruyère, La dispersion du fils (Lfks + AVIE).


this ambitious system? Is creating this kind of platform for other artists as important as creating it for yourself? Here as well, the cinema is both the model and inspiration. In the cinema, a technological apparatus was invented: film, the camera, the projector, etc, which innumerable artists have used to craft completely personal statements. Many of the ‘machines’ I have developed also have this almost generic capability to become expressive tools in other artists’ hands. AVIE, for instance, is a paradigmatic contemporary environment for the expression of panoramic spaces of representation, which follows in the traditions of the Baroque’s immersive surround and of panorama painting. As an artist, I see myself both as a creator of new systems of representation, which are made even more significant and valuable by other artists’ use of them, as well as the creator of unique instances of representation using these systems.

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Jeffrey Shaw, AVIE (Advanced Visualisation and Interaction Environment), 2006.

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In 2003, you returned to Australia to cofound and direct the UNSW iCinema Centre’s research program in immersive interactive narrative systems for distributed and situated intercommunication [a research unit featuring three systematic approaches: interactive narrative systems;

immersive visualization systems and distributed interface systems connected to the Internet]. Was this a way to further explore interactive cinematic systems? The work at iCinema that you outline was a natural continuation of previous artistic practices that include my activities in Amsterdam and then at the ZKM. What possibly distinguishes iCinema is that for the first time these activities are being conducted in an academic research environment, which enables it to be inspired by the rigor of traditions of academic research practices, as well as benefit from its specific economic frameworks. This is pertinent, in my case, because so much of what I have done came about in contexts outside the frameworks of the “art world”—its market place and traditional modalities of production and consumption. So both the ZKM’s Institute for Visual Media and UNSW’s iCinema Centre were alternative and innovative contexts of creation that provided new opportunities to pursue and extend the particular interests of my art practice.

UNSW iCinema Centre’s research program reminds me of other examples of collaboration between artists and science/research, such as at Ateliers Arts/sciences in Grenoble, France… I touched on this earlier. The scientific approach to research is something that is of real value to the artist in these times, and an understanding of research in all academic fields is a highly relevant source of understanding and inspiration if one is to fully address the contemporary human condition in one’s work. We see an increasing conjunction between art and science, often driven by the artist’s recognition that science’s areas of concern are appropriate, and necessary, territories of critical and esthetic reflection. The second point you make is also highly relevant because artists working in academic contexts have immediate and intimate opportunities to share their research with students, which again, in both the traditions of art and science, spurs future generations to expand it and forge new horizons.

You have always enjoyed working in collaborative teams, with Bernd Linterman, Dirk Groeneveld, Sarah Kenderdine, Ulf Langheinrich, Jean-Michel Bruyère… Was it simply because you enjoy working in a team, like in a university program, or with friends? Or was it also required given the technical complexity of the pieces? Both are true. These kinds of technically complex works do benefit from, even require, collaborative teams where each member brings to bear and can contribute specific skills and insights. At the same time, these kinds of works also lend themselves to co-authorship, if as an artist you enjoy, as I do, the sharing of the creative discourse/process. Given that the works themselves aspire to the activation of social interaction in their proprioception. The socializing of their processes of creation and manufacture is appropriate, and can be even integral, to that objective. And it is a specific communal pleasure to have an artistic platform where numerous artists can come together and contribute specific esthetic qualities, that then join together to constitute a successful transdisciplinary achievement.

Beyond interactive and cinematic processes, you have always been involved in very trans-disciplinary projects (the inflated pig over London’s Battersea Power Station used on a Pink Floyd cover album, traveling three-dimensional texts for Place devices, collaboration with Peter Gabriel). Considering all your background, do you believe that now is the time and opportunity for the rise of digital arts—now that the computer is central to most creative processes and that digital interfaces extend to all artistic fields? In my own mind, digital arts are the most powerful expressive force in contemporary culture. Though again, I am always delighted when a non-digital artwork can address the contemporary with equal, or greater force, and there are numerous artists today who can do this. But the digital is my preference, maybe because from my long experience I am so familiar with, and inspired by, its ways and possibilities. And there is


From 1991 to 2003, you were the founding director of the ZKM in Karlsruhe. Recently, the ZKM launched a program to protect existing digital artworks, along with the exhibition "Digital Art Works: The Challenge of Conservation…" Do you believe that this is one of the big issues concerning the future of digital arts? Were you already aware of this problem when you were creating your first interactive pieces? For most, past art’s presence is an invaluable cultural asset for every generation, and it embodies on the most fundamental level the continuum of human experience/enquiry, and informs/enlightens our possible destinies. So if we so value a work of art beyond its momentary existence, then the challenge of conservation follows. An individual artist may or may not integrate longevity in the creation of their artworks. Whatever, it is the responsibility of conservationists to figure out the appropriate and effective methods of conservation, whether it is a fresco on a crumbling wall, or a digital artwork running on an increasing obsolete computer. For most of the works I make, I believe that a strategy of “digital reconstruction” rather than permanent maintenance of the original would be the appropriate, and most realistic, means of conservation. Such a method relies on rigorous and thorough documentation, so that the reconstruction on newer platforms can be as faithful to the original as possible, and can be realized by anyone, anytime in the future.

You are currently showing a new installation that you made with Sinan Goo, "Fall Again, Fall Better", at the 9th Shanghai Biennial. It looks like a highly interactive work, in which 3D human images on a large screen fall to the ground when visitors touch a specially crafted handle. The 9th Shanghai Biennial’s chief curator, Qiu Zhijie, wrote that "it reveals a sense of tragic sadness". Could you tell us a bit more about this piece? It’s somewhat tragic, indeed! Both in its expression and in its use by the public. In this installation, two threads of reflection are being conjugated. One is exemplified by Samuel Beckett’s bleakly uplifting pronouncement: Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. And the other is the multifarious ways in which the notion of falling and the word fall permeate our lives, our literature, our mythologies and everyday conversation. Failure and falling are synonyms in a language of anxiety when facing the environmental and social disruptions that haunt modernity’s global consciousness. It is an expansive discourse that ranges from the metaphysics of The Fall to the thrall of love, through history’s disasters to its Buster Keaton everyday tragicomic ubiquity. While in this sense, the installation may be interpreted as a ‘monument to the fallen’, it is not encrypting the stasis of remorse, but rather a cruel digital theater of continuous re-enactment, where each viewer is an inter-actor, and whereby a Beckettian ‘betterment’ may be endlessly previewed and rehearsed. On a 7-meter-wide screen hung high in the entrance hall of the Shanghai Biennale, a video projection shows a group of eight digitally created human figures standing impassively. On the second-floor balcony in front of that screen, a visitor may take hold of a handle—one that is identical to those they might use in a Shanghai subway train—that will cause that group of figures to all fall down. When the handle is let go, they will rise again to an upright position. These digitally created human agents are modeled

according to the physiology of a “push puppet”, a string toy that falls down when the button underneath is pushed to loosen those strings. Sinan Goo has created a computational model of that toy, and applied it to the musculoskeletal physiology of a simulated human figure. This is conjoined with an algorithm that causes an infinite variety in the ways the physical simulation makes these figures fall to the ground whenever the viewer grasps the subway handle and triggers their collapse. INTERVIEW BY LAURENT CATALA


Sarah Kenderdine & Jeffrey Shaw, Place - Hampi, 2006.

Sarah Kenderdine & Jeffrey Shaw, Place - Turkey, 2010.

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another factor. Contemporary culture is a machine culture deeply insinuated into every aspect of our lives. Even on the level of human communication, the direct and the mediated are so deeply entangled that social relations, and political destinies, are being transformed in the process. This creates a condition of urgent need for a critical esthetics that exploits those same digital media to constitute alternative paths of reflection, alternative world models to challenge those that are produced by the “media industries”.

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PHOTOMOBILES THE END OF ENDLESS MODERNITY The following fragments were written as field notes in 2012 while I was making my photomobiles ("lignes de fuite" series): photos taken on my iPhone, sometimes while driving, which required a long process of editing—but not retouching—in the form of diptychs or triptychs, before being occasionally “enhanced” with gold (as did the illuminators in the Middle Ages), and then printed. Thus, "knowledge through editing" (Didi-Huberman) is explored as the experience of modernity turned upon itself and its projection devices—from painting and perspective to film, but using new mobile media. © R.R.

support it (and that flatten time in the forms of live coverage and real-time), in return produce a sort of boomerang effect that is also an antidote, a formidable power of artistic and esthetic divergence, of an artwork opening up to infinitely diverse spatial and temporal patterns.

Schifters, Norbert Hillaire, Photomobiles, série Lignes de fuite.

Photomobiles, which are hardly photos, or photos almost stolen through a phone, seem destined to respond to passing time and this empire of the ephemeral, like the shadow of the moment carried by the symmetrical movement of a shot taken on the fly, with no deliberately composed image. It’s a shot in motion, like the very object it attempts to capture. It’s about giving in to surprise, through the asynchronous movement and speed of these various mobiles, letting this elusive time open onto itself in the prism of these devices. It’s as if the infamous convergence of media, and the power of globally synchronized images and the opinions that

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Whereas we can see the constant progress of digital technology, the pictorial future of a certain kind of photography in contemporary art, as if fascinated by the inertia of great paintings of History, the mobile phone is like an uncertain camera, which, besides contributing to strangely redefined relationships between images and society, opens up new horizons and paradoxically sends us back to this trembling of time that characterizes photography at its origins. What’s at stake is what occurs, as Rancière says, between seeing and knowing, between a gaze and an action (reviewing the question of the ignorant master, in a sense, these photos also question the amateur). It’s what occurs between the artwork and the viewer, and which belongs to neither the author nor the viewer. (Is this what Duchamp calls the art coefficient?)

This poses the question of these mediations, between the two polarities of the gaze: that of the artist who knows, who is the first to view her own work, and that of the viewer who does not know, but who shares with the artist this thing, this mana, which moves from one to the other, which is common to both, which is interposed between them, like a grid, outside the frame, scanning through the constructed field of the image. These intermediate objects can be, for example, windshield wipers in the windshield wipers series. They serve to draw the space outside of the space. This leads to another aspect of this project, which touches upon the porous nature of the inside and the outside. By articulating a point of view from the inside (interiors) and the exteriors, tracing sight lines from one to the other, each one of these lines appears as the energons mentioned by Deleuze regarding Kafka. My paintings/drawings are also music for the eye (the moment they are photographed and recycled in my photomobiles), in the same way that Chinese scroll paintings inspired Eisenstein to invent the art of editing.

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The vanishing point is primary—it’s the focal point of a form and an energy that impose themselves by any figure, or any matter, or even any viewpoint, or any referrer. It’s as if this sight line were the map of an energetic territory, where the objects that inhabit it are less important than the energy that travels between them, that goes through them, transgressing and imposing itself beyond any referrer, against the referrer—in short, signs without a referrer. Therefore, we must indeed “save the contour” (Deleuze), but against itself or that which it tries to retain, but fails to retain. And which escapes us. Or like that which reveals that something is escaping through the movement of its very retention. For this reason they are diptychs or triptychs, but which do not collect in their center as much as they extend beyond the frame, toward other potential images that were retained in the field and the space of the three images. As such they would be iconostases, according to Ouellet (there is something of the fool and of God that must travel between these images). […/…] Exploring these intermediations, which stand as vision machines between the viewer and us, as if delegating skills to mobile objects, which introduce a speed, a rhythm both intended and by chance, intentional and random—would be a way, using windshield wipers, for example, to reintroduce randomness in art, as desired by the composers of the modern era in music. The windshield wipers create rhythm, like a musical score, they introduce signs that evoke the signs and the movement of the brush in Oriental art and calligraphy. But they are also like shifters, both the statement and the stating source inside the space of the “picture”, between constructed space and perceived space, they are sub-

jects and objects, drawing instruments and part of the drawing, maps and territories, referrers and signs that serve the representation. They are like other objects that suture, scan, punctuate a space and that are not instruments, but rather borrowed from the common world of the industry. In a sense, this approach is consistent with Ceasar’s transfer, as he used industrial compressing machines as sculpting instruments. Or it may be a form of industry transfer, or of reappropriating machines or devices whose usage or meaning originates in other contexts.

Répons, Norbert Hillaire, Photomobiles, série Lignes de fuite.

tion of road time; at the same time, they are stationary, legs scanning the internal stepby-step of the image, or of the sequence of images. Yet these sequences and rhythmic juxtapositions cannot be calculated between the speed of the car, of the windshield wipers, of reconstruction or recognition—they are like diverging temporalities, which open up to points of view that also diverge (but which anyone can appropriate, as they are common to all, a sort of temporal iconostasis beading up the diffracted time that we live, the broken rhythms that are our common lot). […/…]

"I hate movement that moves lines" (Baudelaire)

But today, cars and smartphones are vision machines, machines which almost constantly frame our reality (these devices punctuate our own internal vision machine). Windshield wipers clear the horizon of our field of vision. They are the equivalent of Matisse’s window, although his widow is stationary, while we live in cars, in airplanes, in rapid transit. There is also the scanning of an image according to the particular structuring of memory and time that Lyotard calls scanning, which is not at all the fraying of ancient cultures, and which could, under certain conditions, be subsumed, “rise” to a more dense temporality that the philosopher calls passing. Of course, these devices also pose a spiralling question around mobility, as they are movement, arterial pulse or punctua-

These images are (to quote Lautréamont) “made for all, not by one” (and must repose question of the amateur versus the professional photographer). Their beauty, or their efficiency, is beyond the control of the one who produced them. They are like ready-mades, but time-based and rhythmic, which introduce by condensation and introversion, or mirrored rhythms, another space that is only made of diverging temporal strata. They are asynchronous movements, which are beautiful, not because they demonstrate the possibility of restoring movement at standstill (as did the futurists), because then you might as well shoot a film, but because they prove on the contrary that it’s possible to stop the flow, to contemplate time in the spatial arts, time at a standstill (as with the impressionists), to halt its escape (no doubt).

> digitalarti #13 - 21

© R.R.

Le vecteur des archives, Norbert Hillaire, Photomobiles, série Lignes de fuite.



In short, what is interesting is the impossibility of stopping the flow of time, while stopping it all the same, like the forcados who intercept the toro’s charge in the Portuguese corrida. So it’s also in praise of slowness, a kind of temporal ek-stasis, like the chain reactions evoked by Eisenstein, but which gently emerge from one another—except that in Eisenstein’s case, this produces a depth that extends to the continuity of cinematographic time and its coincidence with real time to produce a narrative, whereas I’m more interested in condensing movement, allowing it to live and even rise up like something unresolved, extatic, yet visible, perceptible at standstill—counters, measurements, various technical mediations that mark our time-space (GPS could be an interesting instrument from this point of view, as well as other orientation tools that humans invent each day in order to move around, find their way, and which introduce a new temporality). (I could even call this research “suspended writing”, in reference to my first research memoir in which I explained that objects and settings are almost characters in their own right in the stories of Flaubert: «bursts of language», as Barthes said to me one day). The last idea, beyond the idea of stopping the flow of movement—as if these windshield wipers were equivalent to our contemporary notion of people at a standstill in Pompeii, halted by a disaster, an accident, which according to Virilio is also hidden within these photomobiles—and therefore the flow of time, is the idea of space. These photomobiles of the 2011 series (I hate movement that moves lines), must also integrate a panoptic aerial viewpoint (like the cartographer who sees the world from

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above, or through tools and instruments of objective representation), and the world from horseback, or the world seen from a local or subjective viewpoint. The objective point of view and the subjective point of view must meld together. The windshield wiper, as an object that has been stopped in its path, escapes the observer’s control—it is the trace of an objective spatial and temporal reality, objectified in and by the eye of the smartphone lens. […/…] We can say that each “work” is not a photo, a drawing or a painting, but a “source”, which can be conjugated in multiple modes, several formats and many objects. Each work is a “found model”, or a found abstraction. A “ready-model” (close to my idea of generalized Duchampism). […/…] If the landscape that we see was itself projected into a mirror and if we had a view of this mirror while going through it, we would see the landscape’s mirror image. I want to work on this idea that the landscape becomes the agent of the painting, that it has become the artist by representing and contemplating itself in a mirror. When we say that art invents nature, it’s more of a chiasmus: art invents nature (nature is written in mathematical and artistic language) and nature invents art. […/…] So in certain triptychs, I enhanced, as did the medieval illuminators, the most salient characteristics and perspective lines of a face or a landscape, with gold, but these brushstrokes or golden charcoal lines are the mirror image of those that punctuate and scan the real landscape photographed in the background. There is also a paradoxal—and somewhat conflicting—relationship between medieval esthetics and

mobile, smartphone esthetics, between extatic and stopped time (gold emphasizes this temporal relationship) and flowing, perpetually mobile, moving time, between slowness and speed. […/…] As the landscape reflects upon itself, we are simultaneously in the current regimen (screens, remix, sampled landscape, landscape reduced to its mirrored reflections, disoriented), and in a very classic space: a still landscape, just like in Renaissance paintings. […/…] Can we imagine a dialogue between two heterochronic devices that hail from different temporal regimens? Some devices bear very different standards (for example, regarding revelation (incorporation or incarnation), forbidding representation favors calligraphy, non-figurative geometrics applied to architectural settings. For standards of deliberation, which define the modern subject and being-together, projection devices carry the meaning of a common epochal destination (from the map, to the globe, or in film). These devices “translate into an era, they create a destination for singularity and being-together” (please refer to the theses of Jean-Louis Déotte). But there is also the question of whether the coexistence of heterogeneous standards are possible (both in our societies and in my photomobiles): for example, the standard of revelation (Middle Age illuminators) and the standard of deliberation (let’s say The Luncheon on the Grass). But perspective connects these two standards, liberates (and subjects, according to Lyotard). So we must continue to examine perspective, and this is what I do in my photomobiles. But I do this after the apparatus of cinema, the apparatus of the period and of other arts by cinema, and what it borrows from other devices (in particular for edit-


My photo is “mobile”, not only in the sense of mobility that is desired and imposed by cell phones, but also by the impossibility (or refusal on my part) of assigning to my practice a residence (in art photography, for example, and its various trends: Jeff Wall’s picture format, Fleischer’s art of mixing, or other post-conceptual trends). […/…] Today, the art world is clearly split between these worlds, one tied to modernity and the avant-gardes (willing to surpass previous attempts), and the other tied to postmodernism.

Bibliographie • Art Press 2, L’art numérique et après ? (editor) [May 2013]. • Arranger le monde, éditions Scala [to be published]. • La fin de la modernité sans fin, L’Harmattan, coll. Ouverture philosophique Esthétiques, February 2013. • Double vue, 50 fragments pour Julien Friedler, éditions Somogy, 2012. • La Côte d’azur après la Modernité, éditions Ovadia, 2010. • L’expérience esthétique des lieux, L’Harmattan, coll. Ouverture philosophique Esthétiques, 2008.

Given the involvement of these worlds in the nebula of current issues (amateur versus professional, the importance of new media in globalization), this work is paradoxally modern: it postulates the movement of history, and the fact that stories of emancipation are still relevant. We are indeed in an endless modernity, which never ceases to reinvent itself. But it is also the end of modernity, with the possibility of reinterpreting, quoting, reappropriating the art forms of the past, art that reprocesses this inexhaustible repertory of forms that precede and follow us (in our tracks)—but here also, there is more than one postmodernity in photography. Perhaps this is the end of endless modernity. […/…] NORBERT HILLAIRE

L’artiste et l’entrepreneur (dir.), éditions de la Cité du design, Saint-Etienne, 2008. • L’art numérique, comment la technologie vient au monde de l’art (in collaboration with Edmond Couchot), Flammarion, coll. Champs, 2005. • Œuvre et Lieu, essais et documents (in collaboration with Anne-Marie Charbonneaux), Flammarion, October 2002. • Internet All over. L’art et la Toile (dir.), Art Press +, (1999). • Nouvelles technologies, un art sans modèle ? (dir.), Art Press Special Issue (1991). •

Theorist, professor at Nice-Sophia Antipolis University (where he directs the master’s program “multimedia art engineering”, artist, Norbert Hillaire is a pioneer in the theory of art and digital technology, through numerous publications, directing books and prospective missions for large institutions (Ministry of Culture, Centre Pompidou, Datar). His book, co-written with Edmond Couchot, L’art numérique (Flammarion), is a reference. As an artist, he uses his photomobiles to question the relationships between painting, photography and film. They are regularly exhibited in France and abroad.

Expositions • Photomobiles, series, group exhibition, Gourvennec Ogor Gallery, Marseille, June 29 through August 30. > • Photomobiles, series, group exhibition, SAS Gallery, 372 Sainte-Catherine Ouest, suite 416, Montreal (Quebec) Canada, August 30 through October 6. > • Solo exhibition at Centre des Arts d’Enghien-les-Bains [in preparation].

La noyade de l'eau, Norbert Hillaire, Photomobiles, série Lignes de fuite.

© R.R.

ing), in order to confront this conflict of periods and devices… of standards. Better yet, or worse yet, we must manage the coexistence of “devices” and “means of communication”.

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WOLF LIESER DIRECTOR OF DAM GALLERY Wolf Lieser initiated the Digital Art Museum (DAM) project, which includes an online museum, an award in partnership with Kunsthalle Bremen and a gallery in Berlin. His strategy is simple: integrate new media into the art world.

Wolf Lieser

When you have been working in this field for such a long time, you went through a time when it was totally rejected. People didn’t understand media at all, and they didn’t understand the importance and influence it would have on contemporary culture and art. I’ve been doing it for 20 years, and now we are entering a different phase, which prompted me to change the strategy of DAM. With this phase, I mean something which is “post-Internet” (as coined by Rachel Greene from Rhizome). She talked about these digital natives: they’ve grown up with the Internet, they don’t care if it’s Internet, they don’t care if it’s digitally produced, but they are referring to this kind of culture, to this kind of thinking, and to this kind of media which are involved in their daily life, with their art. You can see it from the way normal people are using applications or little playful things on their iPads or Androids or whatever, many things like the Austrian artist Lia has done, and you can download this software piece. Is this art or is this not art? It really doesn’t matter. They download it, they think it’s great, and they like to play around with it. So people are definitely open on a much broader basis, and they feel it’s a normal part of their esthetics and dealing with esthetic objects. That’s what I’m interested in now. I’m not interested in painters who are painting landscapes in a new format.

But what about museum institutions and the art market? I always have one foot in the market with people who don’t know anything and one foot with the people who are producing this kind of work. So I’m bridging this, and I still feel that the general art market, the general art scene, is just entering the point of understanding the importance of this. That’s my perception.

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of money, it never worked. We paid money every month; he made his money with Web design, and I made it in the gallery near Frankfurt, with traditional media (painting, photography, what I could make money with). But at that time I was thinking about a concept and the possibility of how to develop this whole topic for the art market, and I came up with this idea of an online museum. Of course, I had no money to put into finances, so I had to come up with ideas that were a lot easier to finance… So we developed this website, the online museum, to first of all make people aware of the history of it. To show them that it already started in the 1960s and that there are pioneers who are still working, who have a persistent career of 30 or 40 years, and so on. So that was the beginning, and then the second step was always to have a gallery to develop a market, because all these artists hardly ever sold anything.

I see that museums are implementing curators who have some idea (the ones before had no idea), somebody has some understanding and is trying to learn about it and trying to dig into it. They’re starting to buy this kind of work and they understand more about it. That’s also what I’m succeeding in—finding collectors who really start to understand that and see the future. It’s obvious if you really look at it analytically and observe the art market. You can see the influence of digital media everywhere.

How did you get the idea for an online museum? When I started DAM, I had a gallery in London, a second gallery in parallel to the one I had in Frankfurt, which was dedicated only to digital art. It was 1999 to 2002. It was not very well known, because it was a really small gallery. I did it with a partner, who had already started it with someone else, then the other one left and we got to know each other. He said, why don’t you join me, and I said, well that’s what I’m most interested in, let’s try it. London: a lot

How do you deal with the issue of the original, or the value of a rare artwork, when digital pieces can be copied, pasted and downloaded?

Aram Bartholl, Olia Lialina, 2012.



Is the mainstream finally ready to accept digital artworks?

We all know that there are no originals, because the copy is exactly the same as the first piece. So artists have pursued the normal strategies that are used in the market. For example, Casey Reas, he only produces one software piece. So if he produces a new software piece, it’s produced once, and sold only once. I just had a meeting with a director from FRAC, and she wants to show a piece that is owned by a collector in Germany, so of course he will loan it to them, but we have to approach him and ask him to loan it. Even so, the artist keeps the software. That is an extreme position. Others are doing this normal thing, like 3 or 5 editions of it. It’s all because of the market. Of course, you could easily produce hundreds. There’s a new website where they’re starting to promote and sell digital formats, 500 or 200 or 300 times. But from my perception, it’s still easier to sell a


Casey Reas, Signal to Noise, 2012.

good artwork which costs 5,000 Euros 5 times than to sell it 200 times for 100 Euros. That’s what the situation is. The more that will change, it will develop a different kind of dealing with a lot of software art, which is basically software-based art. Because it will be available to a larger public and will be distributed along different lines, like what happened with music. I think something similar will happen with visual experiences or visual incidents, which are software-based, through the Internet and through distribution lines. But this is probably aside from the art market. The art market will always stay, because people are only willing to spend larger amounts of money if they at least have the feeling of some level of exclusivity.

Most digital artists have avoided the market, going from residencies to festivals, from workshops to conferences. Would you say that the primary mission of a gallery owner is to accompany these artists so that their work will penetrate the market, given its currently dominant position? That is obvious. A good example is Aram Bartholl, who is someone I’ve known for several years in Berlin, and I’ve followed his whole development. He has been living like that, being invited to conferences, traveling there, being there, residencies, scholarships, and so on. And he made a living from it. After all, it’s a tough life, and still, you’re not making enough, really. It never gets easy. You’re constantly on the run, you have to go there and travel a lot, and besides that, you have to create some fantastic ideas in between so that you keep going. He was really good at that,

and he did some great projects, which made him really famous internationally. Because on the other side, the moment you can establish yourself on the art market, and that’s how it works, prices will go up if you keep selling your work, and then you can finally enter a phase where you can move out of all this traveling and concentrate on your art as such. Which is, of course, a much better perspective. I have nothing against going to do a lecture, but many of these lectures or festivals are totally unimportant for your career in the end. You just go there and get your maybe 500 Euros, you fly there and it’s 3 or 4 days you’ve spent all together, and it’s nice to meet the friends and the group and all the people again which you know from all the other festivals anyway, but to get into safe waters, you have to establish yourself as an artist on an international scale.

Then I imagine that different artists have different reactions to this chaperoned transition into new territories? Definitely the best way to go about it is with a good gallery that is working hard to introduce you to collectors. That’s what happened with Aram. We have sold several pieces from him, and that will go on; he’s producing good work. We didn’t need to change anything on what he’s doing, because he had already produced pieces which were sellable. Others are not, but that’s fine as well. I think it’s also important to let artists do their work, what they want to do, even if it’s dangerous. We have a show now with Casey Reas. He basically discontinued the esthetic of his earlier software pieces. His body of work had some

common characteristics up to 2010-2011, which he totally discontinued. The new stuff is totally hard-edged, no longer feathery, hairy, anything like those soft structures. It’s really hard edges, and totally different esthetics going along with it. He decided to do that in the next show, and he was working till the last minute, so I really didn’t know what was coming, and I knew it could be dangerous. It could happen that the customer, his collectors might say, oh I don’t like it. Don’t you have something from the past?

I recently saw a mural fresco by Casey Reas at the Art Institute of Chicago, but it was inside the architecture and design galleries. Is this the place for a digital artist? Casey is very sensitive about this whole design aspect. He tries to avoid it if possible. But on the other hand, he was so influential with his Processing and everything that he developed in this scene, so he’s such a big name through that, that they always take on this. But even if he had this influence, in the end it will not be important that in the beginning he was first influencing the design world. I know many, many artists who work with Processing. At one time in the future, it will just be that. It doesn’t really matter in the end. Right now it’s sometimes a bit uncomfortable for him, but in the end, what will count is that his work will be there. You saw his very long wall piece, a digital piece that was produced on site. Who cares if someone declares it design or art? People love it, and that’s what art is about.



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Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Pulse index.

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For the past 35 years, “indie” crowds from Los Angeles and Brooklyn have unfurled into the snowy streets of otherwise peaceful Park City, Utah. Sundance has always spoken of “storytelling” and “character development”—a little, a lot, passionately, before every screening, in every panel, in conversations, in the highly frequented workshops of the Sundance Institute. Given the rise of new media, the festival programmers decided to take a stroll through these territories where their famous “storytelling” was shaking things up: New Frontier was born. Since 2007, program curator Shari Frilot has invited the festival crowd to explore, out of competition, this changing territory of digital artworks. Before, we were consumers of stories. Today, stories are no longer consumed, so to speak. Rather, we use stories as a sort of language among ourselves, like a communication tool. It’s a new thing in our culture. It’s this conversation that informs the work, says Shari.

A pavilion of pixels in the snow


In the sanctuary of “storytelling” that is the Sundance Film Festival, "New Frontier" is a section entirely dedicated to digital arts. While radically defying traditional narrative modes, these installations, apps and 3D projections have taken on the challenge to tell us stories, speak to our senses, and seize our emotions.

This year, video mapping was clearly in the spotlight. The technique excels in manipulating reality that has become media, time and space, where our senses are augmented by perceptions that are generated by algorithms. At dusk, the Yard, an anonymous warehouse of corrugated iron that housed New Frontier just off Main Street, came alive. Ricardo Rivera (Klip collective), a “veteran” ANTIVJ, Cityscape of the festival, designed 2095. an impressive 3D mapping projected on three sides of the building (and on the roof). His piece, What is he building in there?—a title inspired from a text by Tom Waits— completely dematerialized the exterior façades. Sections of walls simply disappeared, as if the viewer were instantly wearing X-ray Google Glass, seeing the complex and disturbing mechanics inside, as well as a man filmed in stop motion. The idea behind the “pixellized pavillon” is that each room, the entire architecture, each wall becomes the medium. This is the concept of the exhibition. As soon as you arrive in front of the building, the façade, the film begins. Installations and projections

cohabited in a very open space, which was presented as an immersive path, a grand narrative. Once inside the Yard, past the threshold of Rivera’s door of pixels, the first soundtrack was from the musical drones designed by Thomas Vaquié (ANTIVJ) for Cityscape 2095, an augmented drawing by Mandril, with urban architecture somewhere between cyberpunk (Bruce Sterling is an ANTIVJ fan) and Ghost in the Shellstyle manga. Eyjafjallajökull, from the same young Brussels-based label (Joanie Lemercier), was the strange contemplation of a digital volcano erupting, triggering an emotion both primitive and unprecedented: that of witnessing a digital earthquake. We touch upon something that is more like a poem, says Vaquié. Joanie is more into matter, and writing comes more from matter itself, confirms Nicolas Boritch, a producer for the label. Mobile technology is now an integral part of our lives. We spend a lot of time creating and nurturing realities and virtual identities on the small screen, but at the same time, only our hands, eyes and brain are working—the rest of our body is removed from the action.


ANTIVJ, Cityscape 2095. space. On each screen was projected an autonomous story, which the viewers were invited to follow in alternation with the three others by swiveling their chairs. Our immersion in this ambitious, dense, choral artwork was not so much in search of a rhizomatic narrative as to create a perspective in which the characters could be developed in depth. New Frontier also hosted Quentin Dupieux (a.k.a. Mr. Oizo), who was screening for an overexcited happy few the first chapters of Wrong Cops (in which an adolescent Marilyn Manson is abused

by a rogue mustachioed LAPD cop). The film, shot guerilla-style, will begin its career online (on and end it in movie theaters in 2014, according to producer Gregory Bernard’s idea to snub traditional distribution modes. These new frontiers form a vast horizon, both near to us and in constant movement: a true landscape of the Wild West. IVAN BERTOUX


ANTIVJ, Eyjafjallajökull.


So this exhibition attempts to create a situation where the viewer is completely immersed in an artistic world, in a digital narrative, which in fact addresses and engages the whole body. It’s going from the Cro-Magnon phase to the upright position— especially with Google Glass, which will allow us to stand up and open up new narrative modes, Shari enthuses. In the lounge occupied by Rafael LozanoHemmer (Pulse Index) and Yung Jake, an unclassifiable hip-hop geek-artist from Los Angeles, the images are all-encompassing and ubiquitous (thanks to Yung Jake’s viciously invasive HTML5). Images of visitors’ skin, captured on-site along with their heart rate, feed a slow, organic rhythm on the walls around them, a sort of palpitating digital membrane. The face of a young rapper, processed with mosh data, is displayed on all surrounding screens, and his sublimated body emerges in 3D on every visitor’s cell phone. His character has totally erased the notion of space, he truly embodies the situation that we’re in: digital reality and the physical world have completely merged, Shari explains.

Experiments in both narrative and the distribution of artworks The showcase included new forms of film narratives by Meredith Danluck (North of South, West of East), with a polyptych made for the four walls of the screening

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In Berlin in winter, two events focus on research and practices between the arts and technology: the Transmediale and the CTM Festival. But it is also an opportunity to have a look at some of the works in the exhibitions at the Hamburger Bahnhof, at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, at the LEAP or Lab for Electronic Arts and Performance, before ending up at the DAM Gallery.

Telekommunisten, OCTO P7C-1, 2013.

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digital on our societies. Social issues were in fact at the heart of the many conferences of this Transmediale 2013. But theorists and researchers could not ignore the gigantic yellow plastic octopus that members of the Telekommunisten collective set up in the interior of the HKW. OCTO P7C-1 is a tubular apparatus of forced air evoking the pneumatic postal systems that were developed during the second half of the 19th century. Through this, the absolute power of the operators who establish connections can be measured in a world where a few rare powers, which are essentially private, keep an eye on our data and personal correspondence.

The Transmediale Festival I remember arriving in Berlin in 2006 for the Transmediale Festival. It was at the Akademie der Künste, when it was still a question of emerging artistic practices. The planet Pluto was being reconsidered at the time by the International Astronomical Union and so newly categorised as a dwarf, while the Internet was becoming more and more participative. The characters B,W,P,W,A and P (Back When Pluto Was A Planet) that adorn the Haus der Kulturen der Welt refer to this immediate past by inciting us to measure the growing impact of the

A cabinet of curiosities The organisation of the exhibition Evil Media Distribution Centre was entrusted to the artists Matsuko Yokokoji and Graham Harwood. Conceived in reaction to the book Evil Media recently published by Matthew Fuller and Andrew Goffey, it has the look of a cabinet of curiosities. We can discover there the contributions of 66 artists by means of as many textual descriptions of objects of “grey media”, a concept borrowed from the authors of the book Evil Media. Graham Harwood describes the automatic telephone

changeover switch invented by Almon Strowger in 1891. Strowger, who was a funeral home director in the United States, had the idea for this innovation after suspecting the local telephone operator, who was none other than the wife of his direct competitor, of depriving him of potential clients. Graham Harwood tells us these automatic changeover switches were only recently replaced with digital technology, the same ones that allow certain companies of the Nasdac today to spy on even our most menial exchanges.

At the Hamburger Bahnhof You have to cross the Spree River to go from the HKW to the Hamburger Bahnhof where the exhibition 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering is being held, organised in New York in October 1966 by the artist Robert Rauschenberg and the Bell Telephone Labs engineer, Billy Klüver. The performance entitled Open Score that Rauschenberg conceived with the complicity of the engineer Jim McGee, begins with a tennis match opposing Mimi Kanarek and Frank Stella. But Bill Kaminski equipped the rackets beforehand with wireless microphones by so that they would resonate within the Armoury of the 69th regiment, conceived



Graham Harwood & Matsuko Yokokoji, Evil Media Distribution Centre, 2013.

Lab for Electronic Arts and Performance The LEAP (Lab for Electronic Arts and Performance), situated a few steps from the Alexanderplatz, is an associative project situated in the continuity of the Experiments in Art and Technology, an organisation that itself is a follow up to 9 Evenings. Associated for the occasion with the Transmediale and CTM festivals, LEAP presents an exhibition on the theme of “Abstract Worlds”. It is the opportunity to discover Transducers by Verena Friedrich. This installation, which has already travelled the world, hinges on very little - just a few hairs; hairs that come from different individuals, each one as insignificant as the other, though each expressing the singularities that are common to all of us. Yet it is precisely these singularities that express themselves in glass tubes where they vibrate and so resonate throughout the gallery. The vibrating sounds accord and come into tune with one another to

9 Evenings, Opening, 1966.

make music that is comparable to that of La Monte Young, extending endlessly to the smallest recesses of the environment, which itself becomes part of the work.

At the KW Institute The exhibition One on One at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art brings together 17 installations that can only be appreciated by a single spectator at a given moment. They are, for the most part, inside little rooms even though there is also a fixed line telephone on a white table. A direct line with the artist Yoko Ono, who the mediator tells us will call without saying when. She adds that Yoko calls every day, at least once or twice. So there are spectators who await the call of she who has more than three million followers on Twitter. It is a strange museum situation, by absence, this possible uncontrolled exchange when we are all convinced of being constantly connected to the entire world. But is not this work, apart from its relative obsolescence, stranger today than it was yesterday when “Pluto was still a planet”, when we couldn’t imagine ever being friends with all the Yoko Ono’s on Facebook; before even certain fame being finally accessible for all?

At the CTM Festival The main exhibition of the CTM Festival for the past few years has been held at the Bethanien in Kreuzberg. It brings together a few, primarily digital artworks,


initially for this sport. In addition, the light diminishes gradually, impact after impact, till the space is entirely black at which point, nearly five hundred people, filmed with infrared cameras, invade the court following Rauschenberg’s directions. This now historic performance illustrates the inevitable penetration of technology into art, while waiting for the recognition of emerging artistic practices initiated nearly fifty years ago.


Yoko Ono, Telephone Piece, 1971-2012.

Verena Friedrich, Transducers, 2009. among which are those of Constant Dullaart whose practices follow in the line of Marcel Duchamp. Terms of Service could be considered a ready made because it’s a Google page that is video projected. But it takes on the appearance of a face dictating the American company’s terms of service, dating from 2012. The synthesised voice, which is


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Flavien Thery, Les contraires, 2009.

Constant Dullaart, YouTube as a sculpture, 2009.


rather authoritative, tells us what we ought to know, for example: we may review content to determine whether it is illegal or violates our policies, and we may remove or refuse to display content that we reasonably believe violates our policies or the law. But what in fact constitutes a “reasonable belief”? Or, “by using our Services, you agree that Google can use such data in accordance with our Privacy Policies. Ours? Carrying on in line with Duchampien practices, there is a series of sequences entitled YouTube as a subject that hacks the previous interface of the online video giant.

Subject, medium and support all at once

Ben Coonley, 7 Responses to Constant Dullaart's "YouTube as a Subject”, 2008.

Several artists, starting back in 2008, appropriated the aesthetic of the YouTube video player, among them Ben Coonley with his 7 Responses to Constant Dullaart's "YouTube as a Subject”. The two series at the Kunstraum Kreuzberg dialogue and answer one another face to face. As for the spectators, they can then observe what they’ve already seen so many times without really paying attention. There’s a surprise for each adaptation. All the sequences begin just as they would normally, but then seem to be

freed, through the animation, from the design of their creators. All of these works are of course visible online on YouTube’s server, as they ought to be. A total fusion between the subject, the medium and support is thus at work here. For Constant Dullaart and Ben Coonley, digital technology offers a lot more than a palette of tools or a simple “increase in productivity”, not to mention its “misappropriation”, which is at the centre of so many artistic trends from Fluxus to the New Realists.

The Dam Gallery Wolf Lieser, who is the founder of the DAM Gallery in Berlin, is exhibiting his cabinet of curiosities (Wunderkammer in German) at the gallery. And there is among the digital works being present-

ed, the piece by Flavien Thery entitled, “Les contraires”. It is a kind of coloured prism with the look of a re-composed screen whose appearance changes depending on the point of view, as it does in sculpture. By disassociating the light source from the screen’s filter, the French artist, whose work focuses on the relationship between art and science, invites the spectator to move around in the space. This piece, which questions vision, corresponds entirely to the constructions in perspective that the Italian Humanists of the Renaissance collected in their studioli. “Where is the information that makes the coloured surfaces vary on the plane, in space or at the source?” asks the observer scrutinising the sculptural object whose artistic qualities are inherent to the pertinence of the questions it raises. Because it is the observer who, in moving about in space, makes the work, while the work itself in exchange, questions the observer via its multiple realities. DOMINIQUE MOULON



Transmediale < > Hamburger Bahnhof < > Lab for Electronic Arts and Performance < > KW Institute for Contemporary Art < > CTM Festival < > [DAM]Berlin < >

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RIGHT TO INVENTORY As curious as it may seem, there existed no index of organizations vested in digital and multimedia art… until now. MCD ("Magazine des Cultures Digitales") has just published a "Guide to Resources and Art Spaces", which gives a first topography of the field. Simultaneously, Digitalarti has launched a dedicated website offering complementary and updated information.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Guide to Resources and Art Spaces: digital and multimedia art MCD, special issue #07, 132 pages, April 2013. < >

Made with support from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, this first edition indexes almost 150 spaces throughout France, as well as a few initiatives in French-speaking Belgium. Classified by region, each space has a detailed profile including admission criteria and conditions for residencies, dominant art fields and activities, available technical resources, speaking opportunities, target audiences, working and viewing spaces, various forms of support, administrative contacts… As a whole, these spaces form a network that ranges from national institutions to independent associations, cultural centers to multimedia spaces, laboratories to art schools… The appendix lists DRAC, contacts and addresses to apply for aid at both national and regional levels, document references and an index of the primary festivals that reserve a large portion of their programming for digital art. Thanks to the density and diversity of information, this guide is a precious tool, not only for artists, but also for all the professionals and amateurs of emerging art practices who fuse new media with contemporary art. Finally, as such a project can pretend to be neither exhaustive nor carved in stone, a dedicated website will allow new spaces to be added, as well as to update information on those already indexed, for example, regarding conditions of residency or current initiatives.

Bilingual and regularly updated, the content of this website — — is based on the contribution of organizations that responded to a questionnaire. The site also locates the spaces on a map of France and integrates a search function by category (training, residency, production, distribution, support, etc), region and keywords. As a bonus, three case studies on Nicolas Clauss (Terres Arbitraires), Ez3kiel (Mécaniques Poétiques) and Adrien Mondot (Cinématique) allow readers to follow the journey of an artwork that resulted from a residency and techno-scientific collaboration, from conception to exhibition. As emphasized by Michel Orier from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, in his introduction to the guide: Giving

these available resources new visibility, complete with online updates, will encourage interdisciplinary exchanges among artists, researchers, engineers and technicians from different backgrounds, catalyzing their creative dynamics across an extended territory. No doubt it will also facilitate the horizontal production of works in all artistic fields, at each stage of the creative process, and contribute to the development of a sector already recognized for its dynamics, richness and diversity. LAURENT DIOUF


digitalarti #13 - 31


(AGENDA) UNIVERSO VÍDEO. "PRÁCTICAS EXPERIMENTALES" Exhibition at Laboral Art Center Gigon, Spain Until June 2 < >

ROKOLECTIV FESTIVAL Bucharest, Romania April 19-22 < >

SONAR SÃO PAULO São Paulo, Brazil May 24-25 < >

IRL PERFORMANCES Paris, France April 20 < >

VIDEOEX FESTIVAL Zürich, Switzerland May 24 – June 2 < >

COMMUNIKEY 2013 FESTIVAL Boulder, Colorado, USA April 25-28 < >

MUTEK Montreal, Quebec, Canada May 29 – June 2 < >

DU ZHENJUN, "BABEL WORLD" Exhibition at ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany Until August 4 < >

ELEKTRA FESTIVAL Montreal, Quebec, Canada May 1-5 < >

MUV Florence, Italy May 29 – June 3 < >

ELECTROCHOC Bourgoin-Jallieu, France Until April 20 < >

FESTIVAL EXTENSION Paris, France May 2-29 < >

VENICE BIENNIAL Venice, Italy June 1 – November 24 < >

SOUND:FRAME Vienna, Austria April 4-21 < >

FÊTE DES 01 May 6-12 Orléans, France < >

PANORAMA 15 Tourcoing, France June 1-21 < >

EXIT Créteil, France April 4-24 < >

NUITS SONORES Lyon, France May 7-12 < >

SONAR FESTIVAL Barcelona, Spain June 13-15 < >

BOUILLANTS #5 Brittany, France April 7-13 < >

CAPITAINE FUTUR Paris, France May 7-26 < >

FUTUR EN SEINE Paris & Ile de France, France June 13-23 < >

SIANA Évry, France April 6-13 < >

WRO MEDIA ART BIENNALE Wroclaw, Poland May 8-11 < >

FESTIVAL DES NOUVEAUX CINÉMAS Paris & Ile de France, France June 14-23 < >

EMPREINTES NUMÉRIQUES April 10-13 Toulouse, France < >

ART ROCK FESTIVAL May 17-19 Saint Brieuc, France < >

MANIFESTE-2013, L’ACADÉMIE Paris, France June 17-30 < >

SONIC PROTEST April 11-21 Paris, France < >

IRL PERFORMANCES Paris, France May 18 < >

MASHUP FILM FESTIVAL Paris, France June 2013 < >

FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DE LA IMAGEN Manizales, Colombia April 15-19 < >

LIVE PERFORMER MEETING Rome, Italy May 23-26 < >

EELCO BRAND, "THE ACT OF BRINGING TO LIFE" Exhibition at DAM Gallery Berlin, Germany Until April 13 < >

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WATER LIGHT GRAFFITI on tour! After crossing the Atlantic for CES in Las

Water Light Graffiti @ Rotterdam. Antonin Fourneau.

Vegas, followed by the opening of Visages du Monde in Cergy and the opening party of the Mobile World Congress attended by more than 70,000 people in Barcelona, the Water Light Graffiti saga continues its journey across Europe. On March 9, this installation designed by Antonin Fourneau illuminated Rotterdam’s Museum Night, invited by the New Institute, which includes the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Premsela and Virtual Platform. From April 5 to 13, the artists of the Cully Jazz Festival in Switzerland will interact with Water Light Graffiti on the Next Step stage. From May 24 to June 16, the installation will be at Nancy Renaissance, on May 25 at the Saint Exupéry Center in Reims, and on June 1-2 at La Gaîté Lyrique for Paris Zone Dream. Follow the Water Light Graffiti aventure on our website! < follow_water_light_graffiti_on_tour >

FLUX, a monumental installation by Stéfane Perraud at Gare de l’Est. From December to March, Stéfane Perraud’s monumental installation illuminated the historical rosace of the Paris Gare de l’Est train station, synched to the rhythm of travelers’ arrivals and departures. Visible both day and night, from the platforms and from the street, its flickering lights reflected the station’s palpitations and intensities. Following in the footsteps of Lueur—a previous piece presented at Nuit Blanche 2008—Stéfane Perraud pursues his symbolic representation of life cycles, demographic and urban flows. Read more… <

Flux. Stéfane Perraud.

vices/flux_monumental_art_installation_b y_st_fane_perraud_in_paris_gare_de_lest_ produced_by_digitalarti > digitalarti #13 - 33



WHO’S Digitalarti Mag Digitalarti is published by Digital Art International. CHIEF EDITOR: Anne-Cécile Worms < > ASSISTANT EDITOR: Laurent Diouf < > EDITOR'S COMMITTEE: Julie Miguirditchian < > Malo Girod de l’Ain < > EDITORS: Cécile Becker < > Cherise Fong < > Dominique Moulon < > Ivan Bertoux < > Laurent Catala < > Laurent Diouf < > Norbert Hillaire < > Sarah Taurinya < > Véronique Godé < >

Digitalarti is dedicated to digital arts and innovation, with four main activities: > The first international social network dedicated to digital

arts and innovation, with an online community, mobile applications and a newsletter distributed to more than 65,000 subscribers. < > > Media in the form of this quarterly magazine, recognized by the

TRANSLATORS: Cherise Fong (French > English) < > Valérie Vivancos (English > French) < >

Ministry of Culture and Communication as an online media company. This magazine is available in French and English, as a free download or as an online edition enhanced with videos, readable on tablets and other mobile devices, printable on demand. < >

MARKETING & ADVERTISING: Julie Miguirditchian < >

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events, lectures and symposia, innovation consulting, innovative communication, exclusive artistic content... < > > ArtLab: a creative workshop open specifically to digital artists,

modeled after fablabs or techshops, with a computer space, a fabrication space and a recording studio, in Paris' 10th arrondissement. Current works in progress include several innovative co-productions with digital artists. < >

Cover © Robert Lepage / Ex Machina, Fragmentation (ReACTOR), 2011, R.R.

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34 - digitalarti #13

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