concept of center of the world at Fred Forest
(Paris, September 1999)
How to speak of "Center
of the World" in the art of today? Unless to hold to a Truism:
"in the hypertrophied artist's ego, the art was always the
center of the worldÖ" In fact the major problem of the art
that was always the one of the communication, has been solved
in a definitive way through the irresistible dynamic of the
new technologies of information. Becoming naturally liberated
from the traditional supports, the art became the great humanist
vector of the communication, so much visual that audiovisual.
One tried a long time to assign the crisis of the painting
to the one of the picture painted. The problem puts itself
to the level of the oil painting and shade into it. The digital
or electronic picture is in perfect health. It perfectly describes
the world of the year 2000 as the fresco represented perfectly
the world of 1400, oil on canvas the world of 1600, the impressionist
photograph the world of the second half of the XIXth century.
The extraordinary vitality
of the digitized picture or of the one that appears in a CD-ROM,
a sequence video or an Internet site, is due to its perfect
adequacy to the specificity of its organic support. The picture
video, the photogram of the CD-ROM, the digital print perfectly
adheres to their support and to its communicational facility.
The process is perfectly homogeneous some either the place
of its stake of work. When one thought once to the center
of the world of the art, one thought right to the place where
manufactured the most beautiful pictures. Today the beautiful
pictures occur everywhere and their potential of interactive
auto-transmission is without limit. The bad pictures are those
that don't communicate, those that the scanner badly defines
or those that badly pass on the Web. The aesthetic criteria
is bound henceforth implacably to the good transmission of
the message. The art that doesn't communicate is not the art.
Before this ethic-aesthetic normalization of the global culture,
the concept of aesthetics of the communication dons all its
size. The art that doesn't communicate is not anymore the
art. It is necessary to trust the pioneer poet of the communication
as Fred Forest so that is preserved all along their strategy
interrogative, the presence of the individual humanist values
on which founds the creative and poetic vein of our global
culture. What is in reason today in the domains that were
open to us by the state-of-the-art technology these are not
the phenomena of appropriation of the real but the specific
value of the individual situations that are immediately transmitted.
The electronic image of the television is capable to make
enter us in an original and specific space-time fragment in
relation to the near visual potentialities, neighbors or nearly
analogous of the photograph or the movie. The digital painting
familiarizes us with an approach at a time direct and synthetic
of the real to a sensation of identity that is the expression
of an analogical approximation. In any way, we donít have
the feeling that the visual information that is proposed to
us is more poor or weaker than the one of an original that
would be fixed to the oil painting on a canvas or reproduced
photo-mechanically on a postcard format.
The operational strategies
of the sociological art or the aesthetics of the communication
are at the origin of a set of pictures that seizes us and
conquer us by the sensation of presenting truth that they
inspire to us. The criteria of the taste change and influence
in a definitive manner our emotional and receptive power.
We pass from the beautiful to the truth and this decisive
criteria doesn't refer anymore to an ideal of beauty that
would be defined peremptorily by the "Center of the World"
but to a positive report and presenting a truth that we discern
as universally diffuse in our experience of the daily. Events,
video installations, performances are produced indistinctly
today, without impact of quality or hierarchical priority,
to New York as in Kuala Lumpur, in Paris or London as in Dakar
or The Havana. Within this global Esperanto, we recognize
neither center nor periphery but the emergence of a vital
impulse, rich in kilowatt-hours of spontaneous poetry, and
that testifies the totality of a desire of interactive expression.
The Center of the World is thus everywhere and nowhere, it
is through the impulses of this chaotic jumble that the Man
must assume the integrity and the uniqueness of his being's.
In this totality deprived
of center, the Man must more than ever "be there".
Heidegger was right
when he worried about the destiny of the art in our industrial
society. If he was even living, he would not certainly believe
in the Center of the World and he would have looked in the
aesthetics of the communication for a key of reading (and
of hope) of the chaotic jumble of our totality.
This text has been published
at the occasion of the presentation of the "Center of the
World", Internet interactive installation in Espace Pierre
Cardin, in Paris, in September