Could you present 360°? What is the general principle ?
360 is a dynamic audiovisual landscape, a 360 degree surround panorama, that fully immerses the spectator, and proposes a version of the natural. The ideas for the piece reflect on the nature of energy and transformation, meditation and worship. Light- and sound waves, oscillating, modulating, resonating patterns are the means of the dramaturgy. The visitors play a essential part in 360, providing the human scale and reference in an otherwise abstract and artificial environment.
How have you taken in account the venue (grande halle de la villette) in the creation of the piece? How has it influenced you?
The idea for “360” was forming in our heads for quite a while, it seemed to be the next step to take, however due to the scale of it’s architecture it seemed to be highly unrealistic to realize. Walking into the grande halle de la villette on our initial visit, it became instantly clear that this was the space to build it in. An almost perfect setting, a steel cathedral of the industrial age as the stage for a digital temple, makes a lot of sense. Not to even mention that the grande halle was a slaughterhouse, a place for killing.
Do you refer to the concept of total artwork?
Guess you refer to the idea of the “Gesamtkunstwerk”, something that includes and facilitates all major art disciplines, the fine art, design, music and theatre. I think the work of GS can in that respect be read as a total artwork. Nevertheless when we started to develop this specific form we didn’t particularly strive for a total artwork. The longing and idea was to create exciting and emotionally intense theatrical performances using electronic, “immaterial” media. The stress was on LIVE audiovisual concert, cathartic spectacle.
What is the nature of your relationship with audience?
As for the performances, like with all live events, there is a very direct connection. It’s something that is both challenging and rewarding. The nature of our work often polarizes our audience, although with the more recent and rather “meditative” work the ration of pro/contra is, as much as we can tell, changing.
Installations, works that are installed for a period of time and run in a loop by themselves, like for a museum, allow for less “headroom” for loudness, bass, scale and therefore restrict the artist. Installations, apart from the openings, define a much more indirect form of communication, providing less immediate feedback, but allowing visitors to take their own time in experiencing a piece.
Do you think that twisting world’s perception is an aesthetic postulate/assumption?
Do you think that perception as a mean of knowledge is better than intellect?
Perception as a mean of knowledge is a different concept. It is our human BIOS (basic input / output system) that reaches way back to the human equals animal era. Meaning this is what allows us to survive in crisis and in daily traffic. It’s an extremely complex and elaborate system, which can deal with a magnitude of data rushing in and out, on a massively parallel level, tirelessly scanning the environment for signs of danger and reward. What so dramatically distinguishes this system from our intellect is the fact of being hotwired to the core of our physical and emotional existence. In life threatening moments it overrides any rational layer in us, shuts down most of our intellect and operates predominantly on animal instinct. What I am saying is, the beauty of this system, like with falling in love, is the directness and responsiveness, it’s obvious whether somebody/something feels good or not. That makes for a completely different form of reception or learning. As any BIOS such a system has its severe limitations and that’s where the intellect takes over and subsequently rules most of our waking live.
What does mean for you that the audience has to experiment a feeling of loss?
I don’t know where that comes from, but it must refer to the idea of erasing before “rejuvenation”. We try to impose a certain kind of sensual overkill to make the BIOS take over, at least for as long as it takes for the audience to forget what was before they came into the show, to blow away the immediate past. Another idea and that falls into the same respect is to animate a sense of loss of consciousness, a stop of the thinking process, to calm down, to switch to the primal layer.
What are you looking for in the notion of system?
I don’t quite understand this question. Sorry.
To merge human being into the machine, is it the final goal of your work?
No, this refers to the first part of our work dealing with the human head and torso. The method of single frame editing, cutting up a natural continuity and re-synthesizing audiovisual material (of human heads) on a timeline led to results of highly cyborgian quality. Mechanical and organic alike, both human and machine, pieces like Motion Control Model 5 necessarily made such a statement amongst others.
France : the country of digital creation?
France is a productive place for digital creation. I was particularly impressed with the work of Pierre Huyghe in the French pavilion of last years Venice Biennale, fantastic work.
Your definition of digital creation?
Creation. In the end digital creation is still about creation. A production can be perfectly digital but nevertheless empty and meaningless. Areas where digital is fully common by now, like sound and graphical production, naturally also everything WEB and 3D and some major Hollywood movies I consider the prominent fields of our digital culture.
To your point of view, what is the future of digital creation, what are your expectations?
I am not expecting anything in particular. That allows for pleasant surprises and unexpected encounters. I saw this brilliant piece last year in NY by Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen, called “Listening Post”. Truly the best artwork on the nature of the Internet, in particular chat rooms, I have seen so far. This was a huge surprise and I hope more of such elaborate and meaningful pieces will be produced in the future.
Your three favorite websites?
Your favorite musicians?
Currently and for a while Wolfgang Voigt’s “GAS” series
What are your literature and philosophy influences?
Currently reading “on the process of civilization” by Norbert Elias. Last entire series I digested was the work of Phillip K.Dick.
kurt / Granular Synthesis 2002 /Isabelle Arvers