Fred Forest - Retrospective
Sociologic art - Aesthetic of communication
Exhibition Generative art - November, 2000
Exhibition Biennale 3000 - Sao Paulo - 2006
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Critical by Louis-José LESTOCART

Beginning years 80, Gary Hill, artist video, starts its research on the language. In particular on the idea of a physicality of the language. Soon, thanks to the process of a machine named Rutt/Etra (scan electronic processor finalized in the beginning of the years 70) that permits him to explore the physical nature and the immediatity of the medium, he inaugurates a work on the real time, intrinsic to the video, where he discerns a movement close to the one of the thought. Such a flux, a
topology of the time restored made sensitive by the medium. Then he creates, the notion of metalogue (according to Gregory Bateson, biologist and epistemologist who wrote Mind and Nature : A Necessary Unit, 1979), combining the multiple narration, that build effects of arborescences from only one whole of pictures founding a very physical world between reflection and fiction.

Since the beginning of the years 90 is born the net.art that associates equally pictures, associations of words, of thoughts, physicality of the language, real time, reflection and fiction,. So is created a new artistic reality having sometimes resort to pointed mathematical and physical notions that modelize to the best, creative and intellectual thought, conscience and representation, standing in the totality of perception of the economic field and world geopolitics.
The works of the net.art becoming the metaphors, in the sense where Thomas Kuhn, historian of the sciences, speaks of metaphor of thought: at a time thought and "model" of the thought. These works are especially sites-avatars of real people (artists or group of artists) putting and/or treating of the questions carrying on the identity, the memory, the feeling, the history of the art, the history of the world or personal, the
intimate, the derision, the existence: "common dividers" of all human being.

Work on the identity therefore, but as idea of a presence/absence. Because who is there? No one, in fact. From where this idea of avatar, manner convenient of to ask (himself) some questions. The net.art includes several criteria that we don't treat all here. On several sites, these themes of the identity and the presence are symbolized by a indefinable me, a me-avatar (name of the artist or name of the site) that proves to be often more and more complex and unsteady.
The picture becomes there sometimes logo (speech/language) incarnated and contains a multilevel sense. Often what appears with this avatar, it is not a person of flesh and blood, but the medium itself (screen and numeric picture). There it ends up having a secret in this "incarnation". Nearly eucharistic.

However this presence/mystery is not also there an avatar, ideator nevertheless of the proposed situation (definite by the program and the invitations on which one must click) that becomes similar to the verbal representations: descriptive, evolutionary, unforeseeable. The common feature between these artists is that the alliance picture, sound, text,
"verbalize" the look, hurl down in strata of various speech correspondent all initially to a promise. The click or no on the invitations of the artist achieving or no the promise. To the departure, we are in presence of "language acts" (speech acts) according to John Austin and John Searle, analytic philosophers of the language, fathers of the performative
linguistic: "When to say it's to make" or, with a bit sense of humour, " How to do Things with Words ". Linguistics that succeeds few or many to a new theory of the representation whose shapes constantly diverge following the display tools used.
The formal particularity of these "promises" or stated, is that they lead to a "specific act". Or rather all enunciation is an act, nearly generating guilt, and that finishes, on its turn, by having sense on the journey of all answers that it can receive (by the of the mails of the internauts or the choices that they operate in the program). So create themselves after the "potential literature" of the Oulipo, a "potential writing", an imagery and a sense just as "potential". Did the art become a species transferring?
The net by the fluxes, the rhizomatic modes that sharpens it, the radical mutation of a creation based on real links with the internaut, cause a complete renewal of the analysis methods.
Because well often the observers took in a Weltanschauung (representation of the world) by a lot of sides deciduous, persist in common analyses facing what is a true "anomaly" in a triumphant paradigm. One can understand "anomaly" in the sense where Kuhn uses it in the scientific revolution Structure; that means the existence of lucks or probabilities emerging suddenly of a share of beliefs supposed true that established a
paradigm until there (as is a certain artistic rhetoric all whole based on the resistance and the frustration of some observers) to which each sacrificed and that, of that fact, is completely put in question.

All artists presented here don't belong to the same genealogy although their productions of the language, the intellectualization, the autobiographic fragments and the texts more or less literary or theoretical return unavoidable closeness between all those that initiate of the language games abstracting the notion of work and organizing the space
around the work in sequential structures, taking into account the questions of diffusion and the new spatial-temporal and social deals own to the medium. Moreover, in this optics the idea of only language is absurd without the idea of a non language, without the introduction of a non linguistics objection way permitting implicitly other senses and other
What remains it is the enrollment of such an art in what Mark Amerika, famous artist of the net, names the public narrative environment. Notion to which one could add the one of the public non-narrative environment.
Because there, where one supposes an intention to give sense, thus to make the art, it is also necessary to augur or to take in account the exact contrary. Again the idea of the metalogue dear to Hill. According to the theory of the significance of Jacob von Uexküll, the objects do some connotations for the watching subjects (théorie des milieux) while building illusory paradigms.
Connotations that are always imposed according to a type of conditioning like Pavlov conditioning where the art is not only a given sign but something that would necessarily to mean.
Is the art therefore well a species transferring? The net stays a
fully-fledged medium to the basis - it is nearly a truism - of a new phenomenology of the perception. If it remains an fundamental element of cohesion, of mediation, of integration - immense database on successions of instants of a lived History in real time through the intermediary of our brain - it is also an organ clearly linguistic that doesn't address to anyone in fact - because once again who speaks or who writes? - if it is
not to the language itself, to the linguistic fact and to its evolution.
Yet constantly is put back in the net, the idea to delimit the world t in
the language and the to put it in evidence.
Besides, operation already stake in place in the XVIIe century by the Logic (Arnaud and Nicole) and the Grammar of Port-Royal (Lancelot and Arnauld) having for function "to imitate" the thought, to offer a representation of it and beyond a representation of the world. With all notions of description, cartography, historiography and analysis that connect to it.
However this world, the one of the net, is as unsteady and changing as the quantum world and that the Zone of Stalker de Tarkovski.

From then the net, offering a new field for the epistemology, appears being not anymore than a transparent and adequate vehicle for a questioning of the subjectivity.


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