To know more about my background and about my curatorial projects here is my conference in WJ-SPOTS#1 published on Digitalarti in 2009 :
Transcription in english :
/ I’ve been an independent exhibition curator since 2003, after having worked for the association Art 3000, the electronic culture site Gizmoland and the Grande Halle de la Villette (Paris) on the first edition of Villette Numérique in 2003. After finishing my initial training, I discovered new media at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (School of Political Studies) while writing my thesis on Digital virtuality as a mechanism for understanding reality…
As a curator, I’ve concentrated on the relationship between art and video games, and art on the Internet, as well as new forms of images; the goal was to merge political, social and artistic issues around the question of games, which is eminently symbolic and political… Furthermore, in order to promote alternative and artistic uses of video games, I’ve organized a number of 8bit music and chip tunes concerts, produced on Gameboys; and, for almost 5 years, I’ve been showing films designed with video games, still called Machinimas.
The point was to prove that it is possible to transform an object of mass consumption into a means of expression.
// When I came to Monte-Carlo in 1993, to attend a series of Imagina conferences and projections, I was lucky enough to follow a director, Thierry Silighini, who was doing a segment on virtuality for the FR3 (French public television) show Atelier 256 (Workshop 256) into a hotel room, at the Loews, to be precise.
There, a person whose name I wouldn’t learn for another 7 years, asked me to sit in front of a screen and to exchange images of my body with a person who was in Paris, that I could also see on the screen. Without knowing it, for the first time in my life I was participating in a network performance, organized by the Virtualistes, the first French people to go on the net. The performance was called Electronic Peep Show.
I came out of that experience a new person, blushing apple red because I’d been embarrassed by the presence of journalists and intellectuals like Régis Debray, who had been attending the performance behind my back… For the first time I’d come into contact with the feeling of ubiquity, being here, there and elsewhere at the same time.
After that, I met Eléonore Hellio and took part in other network performances with the Electronic Café, and discovered that it was possible to interact with people for whom it was night, while for me it was day, and that, in spite of that, we could play music together… That’s when I discovered that the world is porous, like frontiers are porous, just like the limit between virtual space and real space.
My first exhibition would take place on the net through the online gallery Gizmoland, then, on the Villette Numérique site’s web based art gallery, on the concept of musical games. At the time, rather than limiting myself to a dogmatic conception of net.art, in other words art work specifically created for, and only visible on, the Net, I was trying to display the breadth of online art, even if I had to show pieces that didn’t quite deal with the same theme; like the webdocumentary by the 360° artists, or an interactive movie with Sophie der Film, as well as generative or flash art pieces. So the net was my first space of expression as a curator.
While I was being attacked by the proponents of a well delineated conception of net.art, I met Vuk Cosic and decided to pay them a tribute, by organizing along with Vuk the Tour du Monde du Web (Centre Pompidou) conference on the countries of Eastern Europe, in order to show net.art’s most emblematic art pieces.
/// The net reminds me of surrealism, and the idea of the random encounter, that’s almost perpetually transforming it into a space of wondrous encounters.The most important encounters were the ones that have taken placearound written texts, as with Miltos Manetas and his text on the return ofJesus as a giant Pokemon. And Nikola Tosic, who I met by email whilepreparing the Villette Numérique, before carrying me off in his car at 200 kmper hour across Serbia to take part in his Meet in a Nice Restaurant in Turkeyevent…
And the Whatever Girls in New York, who I met thanks to anemail sent to the Faces Women and New Media mailing list…It’s also the notion of elective communities (faces, pixels, games, machinima…) and the possibility of exponential collaboration thanks to freeware, wiki applications, web 2.0 and peer to peer.
Indeed, while collaboration is not a new idea, access to freeware, information sharing, bandwidth, and low cost tools have transformed the way in which collaboration takes place.
//// Internet is a space of possibilities and creation, and it’s up to us to allow that space to expand and grow. We owe it to ourselves, and it is our duty, to make sure we protect it from attack, and threats to squeeze the pipes shut. We need to fight for Internet’s neutrality, for it to remain open and free.
The French Constitutional Court has just rejected the Hadopi Internet law, but we need to continue standing up for our rights while they’re preparing the lopsi (interior security) bill. Thought is free and must not be flouted under the pretext of fighting against cyber-terrorism or cybercriminality.
WJ-SPOTS is a project that was conceived of and designed by media curator Anne Roquigny, in which artists, critics, thinkers, inventors, researchers, curators, organizers and producers of cultural events are invited to look back on 15 years of Internet history.
Interview published in the mcd special WJ-Spot, september 2009 (pp. 54-55)