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Thomas Israël: Lazlo/cinetic/generative/dada.isr

Fabio Paris at Charlot's: from Dada to Transmedia

Sept. 8 - Oct. 9, 2017. Dada Club Online, at Galerie Charlot (Paris). More info. Basic data on our previous post.

You have two ways of enjoying this expo.

The simple (and perhaps best) is to enjoy and have fun with the creativity of these works, and (if you open your wallet up to the modest price of some pieces) to be proud of taking an active part in the latest advances of digital art. Then stop reading me and pay a visit to the gallery.

On the other hand, you can enter in a both frustrating and fascinating travel into art history and future, taking the expo as a runway for taking off into the vast skylines of Dada concepts and practices. Then welcome on board for a first tentative survey. The project is so vast that today (Sept. 16), we will only draw some promising tracks, to be expanded in later versions.

0. Frustration: Too little, too much.

Too little:
- The expo title "Dada Club Online" lets expect an online event, a sort of permanent streaming around a strong websites and a swarm of social networks exchanges and why not interaction. Instead, we have a limited expo, in the traditional form (the "white cube" and a minimal catalog) and quietly hung works.
- The expo is only part of a wider set, presented in a rather traditional catalog: pictures of the pieces and a short commentary?

Too much:
- Once you begin to dig into the catalog, and even more in its online version, you are overwhelmed by the number of pieces, of artists, of materialization (from quite traditional painting to algorithms and programs (Processing, Javascript) through T-shirts, performance... with a stong domination of "animated GIF" (should we say, forgetting respect, an artistic name for Powerpoint), and even a Vinyl disc.
- If you look for synthesis, it is difficult to force axes and concepts out of such a maginificent set, in which you could spend (happy) hours navigating in the online catalog, losing yourself in the flourishing wils and staying for long minutes looking at videos. And the website does not bring much help.
- For the Diccan's editor, such a quantity is a challenge to update our artists database (we will dot the work, but maybe digital art is on the verge of outpowering our editorial team)
- You can ever wonder if this kind of web publications will not be deadly for the trational art market channes, since you can, for instance, get freely high resolution images (we have printed at home Reconstructing Modernity, by Fotis Begetis) using our Epson 1400 printer, on A3+ (329 x 483 mm) format, without percepible aliasing

1. The dada tradition. Anti establishment and participation

This collective mode of creation is well in line with Dada tradition, with the cadavrexquis process, for example. More deeply, writes Christian Kravagna (cited by [Graham-Cook]): "participation can also be initiated, as with the Dadaists, through acts of provocation". Duchamp's LHOOQ writing on a Mona Lisa image is here emblematic.

Here we live a kind of contradiction between the original artists Ego (including property rights issues) and this sort of epigenetic creation. Not only do these additions to or transformations of original works attack the pride of the original authors, but they use their names for (hopefully) profit. That may be increasingly difficult when copyrights and droits d'auteur (a French concept) are transformed into brands which never die. You can draw a moustache to Mona Lisa, but do'nt dare to do it with Disney's Snowwhite.

2. Charlot: Unrelented creativity inside the gallery format

This show is one more step in the Charlot's ambitions. The gallery started, in 2010, with rather conventional personal or group shows of selected artists. But, step by step, Valérie Hasson-Bénillouche, later well supported by Valentina Peri, play a more and more active role in their artists creation process. The first clear example was Anne-Sarah Le Meur, known for quite large if not cumbersome contraptions like Outre-Ronde (a several meters wide projection tube, a specific headset for the spectator, and not easy to learn viewing practices). Charlot took her to still images or video images. On the same line, long and repetitive video loops of Jacques Perconte were also materialized on prints. The most impressive was the Eduardo Kac's Inner Telescope project, where the final expression in an ad-hoc show was planned long in advance, bases on an action of an astronaut in the Space Station.

As for DadaClub Online, the project comes from Fabio Paris, a Brescia based curator. But this opening to international cooperation is also well in line with the expansive strategy of Charlot, notably with the German DAM gallery (which brought a strong link with the origins of digital art).

A specific challenge of the Gallery is to expand its projects into worldwide transmedia, taking off from a rather small "white cube" in a narrow Parisian street (narrow, but well situated in an art oriented district, with for instance, not far from Charlot, Denise René Espace Marais (with far diving in the new media art field, centered on kinetic pieces). Valérie as well as Valentina are still far from retirement... then we can expect to see new ground broke in the decades to come.


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