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festival international @rt Outsiders 2002


Leonardo da Vinci was renowned for his forward-thinking. Were he alive today, he would no doubt be eager to explore new artistic forms of expression using cutting-edge technology. Since the appearance of the first digital images in the 1950s, technology has developed at such a rapid pace that artists are constantly discovering new, previously unknown means of expression, without falling into the trap of using technology simply for technology’s sake.

This new freedom of expression is reflected in works from all areas of contemporary art, from painting to sculpture, video to music and lives shows to virtual reality. This has also opened up previously uncharted paths, by penetrating the scientific realms: from biology to artificial life.

So that these new age pioneers in the field of art may find their audience, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie will once again be transformed into an observation laboratory for the benefit of new artistic trends and welcome the 3rd International Festival of @rt Outsiders, created by Henry Chapier and Jean-Luc Soret, into its locale.
This event will also be connected to the Internet site.

This year, the majority of the installations on display will be dedicated to distinguished “ bio-art ” artists such as Eduardo Kac, Christa Sommerer, Laurent Mignonneau, Chu- Yin Chen and Daniel Mange who have each recreated – in his/her own specific manner - micro universes or virtual ecosystems to show how a computer is able to simulate the complex nature of the living world, in a fashion that is both entertaining and poetic.

Moreover, body and image continue to play a highly important role in this exposition: i.e.: Christophe Luxereau, who has replaced the Fountain of Youth myth for that of the robotic body, Magali Desbazeille and Siegfried Canto who portray intimate thoughts through corporal expression, or Miguel Almiron and Servovalve who have developed their artistic representation based on revealed or differed images.


An interactive installation
by Eduardo Kac

Eduardo Kac, an internationally renowned Brazilian artist who made the headlines two years ago when he tried to present a fluorescent green genetically-modified rabbit, is exhibiting “Genesis”, a transgenic work that explores the relationships between biology, belief systems, ethics and information technology.

The work’s key element is an "artist’s gene", a fictional synthetic gene, which does not exist in nature. To create this gene, a verse drawn from the book of Genesis was translated into Morse code and then converted into DNA base pairs. First used in radiotelegraphy, Morse code was chosen because it symbolizes the advent of the information age and the genesis of global communication.

The initial process in this work consists in integrating the artistic gene into a bacterium, which then develops depending on spectator intervention. The display consists of a Petri dish(1) containing bacteria, a flexible microvideo camera, a UV light box, and a microscope illuminator. The local video projection shows a larger-than- life image of the bacterial division and interaction seen through the microvideo camera.

The gallery display enables local as well as remote (Internet) participants to monitor the evolution of the work. Remote participants on the Web can interfere with the process by turning the UV light on or off. The fluorescent protein in the bacteria responds to the UV light by emitting visible light (cyan and yellow). The energy impact of the UV light on the bacteria is such that it disrupts the DNA sequence and thus accelerates the mutation rate.
The left and right walls display large-scale texts: the sentence extracted from the book of Genesis (to the right) and the Genesis gene (to the left). "Genesis" has original DNA- synthesized music, composed by Peter Gena. The music is generated live in the gallery and streamed on the Web.

(1): A Petri dish is a round receptacle used for bacterial cultures.



An interactive installation
by Daniel Mange

For the past ten years, the researchers at the Logic Systems Laboratory, run by Professor Daniel Mange, have drawn their inspiration from the complexity of the living world in order to create high performance computerized architecture.
The Biowall is one of these applications and constitutes a major step towards the creation of intelligent, bio-inspired electronic tissues, capable of evolving, self-repairing, self-replicating and learning. In its current form, the Biowall surface combines the possibilities offered by the very latest information technology with the most instinctive of human gestures - touch.

The Biowall is a mosaic comprised of thousands of transparent electronic modules, which are comparable to artificial molecules. Each of these molecules enables the visitors to communicate with the Biowall surface simply by touching it with their finger. This interaction is then interpreted using an electronic light display. Above and beyond its practical applications, the “Biowall” foreshadows tomorrow’s interactive paintings by including the spectator in the creation process.


Quorum Sensing

An interactive installation
by Chu-Yin Chen

Quorum Sensing is a term used in the field of bacteriology that means a communication and activation mechanism concerning group behavior. This installation explores the principle behind the spectators’ collective consciousness and mutual understanding. The installation’s interactivity lies in coordinating the movements of the participants who discover a microcosm based on artificial life, created using computer programs. Highly autonomous, these virtual creatures organize, reproduce and engender a complex evolutionary system that is in perpetual symbiosis.
This virtual world unveils at the spectator’sfeet. Thanks to their cooperation, artificial life emerges in voices that pierce the silence of this free sensorial space.


Life Spacies II

An interactive installation
by Christa Sommerer
and Laurent Mignonneau

Artists and researchers Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau took on the roles of demiurges when they created an autonomous ecosystem. Thanks to a computer program they have developed, words are translated into a genetic code, creating virtual creatures. The text that is typed into a computer generates a colorful world, inhabited by various species that must look for food, protect themselves from predators, seek out mates and reproduce in order to perpetuate the species.


Digital Anamorphosis

An interactive installation
by Miguel Almiron

Miguel Almiron’s work offers each spectator the opportunity to establish a gestural dialogue with him/herself as well as reflect upon the relationship between image and time.

A camera films the visitor’s movements in real time and after being processed, a deformed image from the immediate past is then displayed on a screen. The body is transformed into an image of life signified by a gesture or a print: a weightless and boneless body, without a structure. A body that has been transformed into raw material for the purpose of creation.


You think
therefore I follow you

An interactive installation
by Magali Desbazeille
and Siegfried Canto
guest writer, Christine Beigel

Above and beyond the transformation of Descartes’ famous phrase, the artists offer visitors the opportunity to hear the anonymous, yet intimate thoughts of individuals lost in a crowd. The spectator is invited to walk in the wake of these passers-by, whose images are projected onto the floor.

As the visitors walk over these images, they are privy to the innermost thoughts of strangers. This then leads them to undertake an introspective journey as they are confronted with these alter egos.

Partenaires et producteurs de l'oeuvre :
Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains, Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles du Nord-Pas de Calais, Région Île de France, “Bourses pour l'an 2000”, Société FLIR Systems, Société Doublet, Théâtre du Nord de Lille, Ballet de l'Atlantique, Association SURCOUR, Association ART- here, Ryerson University.



A multimedia work by Servovalve

Made up of thousands of lines that gradually take shape on the screen, Servovalve’s evolutionary virtual portraits open our eyes to new graphic realms. Highly original and inventive, these works are created at random, leading the spectator down the path of contemplation and discovery. The work’s experimental and minimalist sound accompaniment, which is closely linked to the images, illustrates the search for forms of this multimedia artist, who is as extraneous to conventions as his creations are.


Electrum Corpus

An installation by Christophe Luxereau

Christophe Luxereau’s Electrum Corpus 3D photo-video installation provides us with a free interpretation of tomorrow’s world as he sees it. After his venture to redefine a new canon for the descent of Mankind with his “Avatars”, the artist has endeavored to reinvent the organic and physical structure of his models.

This new inspiration naturally led him to study the human anatomy so that his heart or metallic prostheses might reflect a future reality as closely as possible.

This artist uses the contemporary grace and discreet charm of Young Fashion to highlight the elegant prostheses made from precious metals, which become the jewels of a new age. Thanks to Christophe Luxereau, the body becomes a continually evolving piece of architecture, in which mechanical elements replace the organic aspects. Can these new technologies be an antidote for the declining body and our passport to eternity? It seems to be, in any case, the pious wish that Christophe Luxereau has expressed in his work.

  • Set design : Pierre Hespel
  • 3D Development : Charles Keramoal
  • Website : Nicolas Beucher
  • Sound : Alain Schneider
  • Photographic style : Geneviève Lafosse
  • Scientific Advisor : Alexandre Staropoli

The Glossolalias of Orpheus

A visual and musical performance
by Monique Nahas and Hervé Huitric

This 30-minute play is an interpretation of the myth of Orpheus. It uses interactivity in order to bring virtual characters to life, who then interrelate with real individuals.
It is the outcome of a collective work, begun in the INReV laboratory at the University of Paris 8, which required the use of cutting-edge technology in the field of computer-generated images and computer-assisted musical composition. Original software was developed in order to give spontaneity an esthetics of its own.

  • Monique Nahas and Hervé Huitric, interactive virtual choir)
  • Marie-Hélène Tramus and Michel Bret, interactive virtual dancers
  • Josseline Kiss, soprano, libretto, musical composition
  • Odile Bescols, mezzo soprano
  • Pierre Adam, tenor
  • Tatiana Drgona, electro-acoustic harpist), Modoka Shiraso-Huitric (pianist
  • Philippe Tancelin, poet, theatrical expression

Festival “hors les murs”

Ad Vitam

Photographic installation by Christophe Luxereau

september 13 - october 22, 2002
Galerie Mabel Semmler, 10 - 12 rue des Coutures Saint Gervais, Paris III

Projections privées

Photographies by Patrick Aufauvre and Arnaud Baumann

september 20, 2002
Aux Grandes Marches, 6, place de La Bastille Paris XII

Conferences & films

The conferences will be held at the Bernard-Pierre Wolff auditorium every Saturday and Wednesday afternoon from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by film projections from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., which are directly related to a specific theme or based on a selection of computer generated films.

  • Wednesday, September 18
    • 3 - 5 PM 
      Telepresence, Biotelematics and Transgenic Art
      Talk by Eduardo Kac, Artist, Writer and Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
    • 5 - 6 PM 
      Living Things and Artificial Life
      A film by Laure Delessalle. 1998 - length: 56 minutes.
    • 6 - 8 PM 
      Demon Lover
      A film by Olivier Assayas – 2002
  • Saturday, September 21
    • 3 - 5 PM 
      How matter comes to life: an introduction to the biology of artifacts
      Talk by Jean-Michel Truong, Artificial Intelligence expert, novelist and essayist
    • 5 - 7 PM 
      Ghost in the Shell
      An animated film by Mamoru Oshii. 1995 - Length: 125 minutes

  • Wednesday, September 25
    • 3 - 5 PM 
      Will living computers ever exist ?
      Jean-Claude Heudin, Professor at the Pole Universitaire Léonard de Vinci
    • 5 - 7 PM 
      Imagin@ 2002
      The winners of the 2002 3D animation films festival. Length: 90 minutes
  • Saturday, September 28
    • 3 - 5 PM 
      Reynald Drouhin
      The multimedia artist presents his works
    • 5 - 7 PM 
      A film by David Cronenberg. 1999 - Length: 97 minutes

  • Wednesday, October 2
    • 3 - 5 PM 
      Orpheus' Glossolalia
      Performance : learn more
    • 5 - 7 PM 
      Films Action
      An overview of the independent creation of 3D animation films. 120 minutes
  • Saturday, October 5
    • 3 - 5 PM 
      Interactive Virtual Humans
      Talk by Justine Cassell, researcher for MIT
    • 5 - 7 PM 
      Making Mr Right
      by Susan Seidelman. 1987 - Length: 95 minutes

  • Wednesday, October 9
    • 3 - 5 PM 
      Is Biological Art aesthetically pleasing ?
      Talk by Annick Bureaud, Journalist, Critic
    • 5 - 7 PM 
      INAthèque de France
      An overview of 3D animation films. Length: 120 minutes
  • Saturday, October 12
    • 3 - 5 PM 
      The new lands of digital art
      Talk by Emanuele Quinz of ANOMALIE review
    • 5 - 7 PM 
      2001: A Space Odyssey
      by Stanley Kubrick. Length: 139 minutes

  • Wednesday, October 16
    • 3 - 5 PM 
      Why and in what ways are stories interactive ?
      Talk by Jean-Pierre Balpe, Writer and Professor at Université de Paris VIII
    • 5 - 7 PM 
      Sup Info Com and the e-magicians
      3D animation films presented by Marie-Anne Fontenier, Director of Sup Info Com.Length: 120 minutes
  • Saturday, October 19
    • 3 - 5 PM 
      The magic of artificial life
      Talk by Daniel Mange, Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
    • 5 - 7 PM 
      The Matrix
      A film by Andy and Larry Wachowski. 1999 - Length: 131 minutes

* sous réserve.

festival international @rt Outsiders 2002