Beyond the Ruins (2004)


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Artist Statement

I am going to explain the process(es) underlying the ongoing work taking place within this blog-shaped object with some references to post-modernism, but I'd like first to state that this isn't about implementing a posteriori a theoretical set. That started with my first readings of Burroughs in english which, oddly enough, I found fairly more legible than the previous french translations I had read before. Then I have found myself evolving on two parallel paths: discovering / exploring in depth conceptual art - art brut - Dada - collage - post-modernism - situationism - whatever - on one hand, and on the other writing in a more and more experimental manner, making use of cut-ups and codes, experimenting with foreign languages - mainly english, but also some spanish. Both of these processes were so much in phase that I couldn't help but somehow join them together.

It is not poetry - it is writing because writing is the more affordable way of expression - small size of files (works in progress can be stored as drafts in a e-mail box) - availability of basic tools, etc. These are low-tech processes; as I am currently homeless in Ireland, I don't have a personal computer, so I use the most common pieces of software provided in internet cafes - search engines, wordpad, e-mail accounts, blog... It gives way to a somehow minimalist though chaotic enough aesthetics, that I feel intellectually and politically close to - both (!) - Art Brut and Arte Povera for instance.

The internet, more accurately mainly the WWW, is my battlefield. This is where I find my "victims". It is a non-hierarchical approach; I take levels / sub-levels / hyperlinked documents etc as elements of a rhizomatic network, strates through which I evolve and choose. I make use of cut-ups as a means of sampling / recycling / Détournement, throughout a Dérive à la Debord but in a digital network. It is not a leisure "walk." It is taking action. Choosing ways amidst infinite possibilities. And taking samples. But it isn't ethnology neither. I am part of the network. I am an eye on a screen, but this space is curved and at the unreachable extremity of my sight I would see nothing but the nape of my neck. Or yours.

Hence the meaning doesn't come from the samples themselves but from the interconnection of samples (intertextuality refined from its textual contexts, intertextuality perversely shaped as new textuality), making sense out of different levels of readings (after the death of the Author / textuality, it is the resurrection of the Author as a database access interface) interpolated via short-cuts and given a same and identic semantic importance - notions of randomness / choice, subjectivity found again in the most distant and a priori a-personal medium, the computer screen with its displaying presets, and the leveling of a common basic formatting in matter of fonts, colours and sizes within search engines or wordpad windows.

It gives way to a meta-code of "writing" - reading at the same time, a broken grammar based on meanings following from browsing the web, based on what could be called "inter-semes." (Example of "Googling": choosing a word, searching for it with the search engine, and then taking some (to me) meaningful or thought-provoking or even Spectacular semantic samples - or applying a previously defined way of choosing, ie even or odd pages, etc - among the displayed websites and pasting them together.)

It questions communication as different and sometimes opposed to understanding and exchange. The recycling of spam - junk e-mail - brings with it the notion of information ecology, where one can consider communication as data flaw, and spam as communication at its most basic level: predation. All of this is based on a seemingly global non-hierachical network, of which one characteristic remains - especially when dealing with texts (small-sized files) allowing for very fast transmissions - its ever-increasing speed. As Virilio has put it, there is disruption of communication when speed doesn't allow for reflection and feedback. Hence an aesthetics of speed / broken grammar and syntax ensuing the information overload crash every one can experience when connected. But speed is a relative experience. By experiencing speed one re-discovers hir personal point of view, the place from where (s)he feels the rush of data passing by, as in first-persons video-games. This impersonation allows me to fill in willing minds with immaterial cultural viruses that give way to other organisational possibilities within our memories, and the perpetual (de/re)-construction that is within us, namely consciousness.

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