“In the field of painting, genres reemerge every time a new invention enriches the history of art, just like practices are reactivated with the slightest innovation. And let us not forget industrial revolutions, from the steam engine to new technologies, which shape the world according to technical progress. When topics intermingle with tools in the use of media. The motor has allowed for movement in art, controlling it has allowed for neo-kinetics, and here one inevitably thinks of the work of Venezuelan artist Elias Crespin and its extreme slowness. Through its strange relation to reality, photography re-creates adjacent art forms. Authors disappear and leave only entirely automated devices, but subjects always persist. This is exemplified by Caroline Delieutraz’ vision, which merges with the vision of photographer Raymond Depardon through her use of Google Street View. Because viewpoints, which are raised or lowered according to various historical periods, are now machine controlled – though usages and practices have not lost anything of their humanity, an aspect which has only been displaced.
Once they have emerged, techniques and technologies become a trend, but they generally end up merging within the field of contemporary art, which can only be reformulated with words like “neo” and “post”, because of the way art becomes fragmented from within as well as from without, at the frontiers of amateur practices. And there is also the experience of works that are constantly being reinvented by the digital medium, which everyone appropriates in her/his own way. Recycling is a form of appropriation, the results varying according to the objects, yesterday’s high-tech, therefore today’s low-tech, establishing cycles stratified by various phases of the digitization of the world. There are artists like Benjamin Gaulon who, like media archaeologists, extract from our refuse objects from yesterday’s trends, and digitize them to convey some sort of artistic quality upon them. Experimenting gives rise to accidents that artists can seize by accepting an element of randomness that they have actually created through the codes and algorithms that constantly escape their control to become a work of art. Here there is a form of “letting go” for certain artists who, like Pascal Dombis, fully appreciate the unexpected consequences of chance happenings during computing.
If we were to define a trend in digital art, it would only be one of the components of a much larger historical body associating art and science. A body invested by French artist Orlan when she revives the theme of the flayed man frequent in painting. Whereas Pascal Haudressy makes his paintings more theatrical by adding a few shadows. The exhibition also deals with experimental cinema, with Jacques Perconte’s film sequences that literally liquefy while they are being read. If we were to define a trend in digital art, it would be the continuity of Nam Jun Paik’s experiments – for certainly he would have used the technology of LCD screens in the same way as Flavien Théry, to generate images outside of any kind of framework in order to test the gaze of the viewer. Lastly, if digital usages were a trend in art, they would merely be, in an era where they are used by everyone, the favored media of artists from the generation of Cory Arcangel. This American artist works towards the recognition of digital usages and cultures by major international contemporary art institutions. While collectors of a single generation, including Hampus Lindwall, are able to measure the consequences of the merging of digital technology and art, notably through the re-emergence of historical practices that become updated merely by occurring in a contemporary context.”
Elias Crespin presents 12 cubos en línea (Tapiz doble 9), 2013.
Artists: Cory Arcangel, Elias Crespin, Caroline Delieutraz, Pascal Dombis, Benjamin Gaulon, Pascal Haudressy, ORLAN, Jacques Perconte and Flavien Théry.
Curator in residence: Dominique Moulon.
9 bis rue Dombasle
93100 Montreuil (France)