Artist Profile: Lou Cantor


The latest in a series of interviews with artists who have a significant body of work that makes use of or responds to network culture and digital technologies.

Lou Cantor, "The Labour of Watching" (exhibition view at Oslo 10, 2015)

Your most recent work, The Labor of Watching (2015), takes as a primary reference point historical images from automobile safety test videos. These videos, as your work notes, are now widely available on internet video-sharing platforms; they are thus radically de/re-contextualized by audiences who in many cases have no firsthand memory of the vehicles shown or the context the videos were designed for. Could you speak about how you see the proliferation of digital images changing expectations of visual experiences?  

In our work, we use the videos only as a point of reference. In the space in Basel we presented just the crash barriers themselves. These objects are present in the videos, but they usually escape the attention of audiences who are focused on what happens to the cars. Depending on your perspective, this focus could be understood as a distraction. For us, the barrier is a much richer object, conceptually speaking;