2018, Facebook’s Connectivity Lab, California Mural.
When I was contacted by Facebook to discuss the possibility of painting a mural in their new Connectivity Lab, I was very hesitant. I use Facebook and Instagram, but to actually produce an artwork for the corporation introduces another set of issues. Media theorist Fred Turner framed the problem with eloquence in his text The arts at Facebook: An aesthetic infrastructure for surveillance
capitalism[read here]. The challenge was to make an artwork that could not be diluted in the culture of the company.
After researching the activities of the Connectivity Lab, I decided to propose a mural that would address, as directly as possible, a number of simple questions that I believe the corporation must
answer. I saw the project as an occasion to get inside the fortress and communicate directly with the scientists, engineers and other employees working there. The project was accepted.
The mural includes many text elements, and represents a series of
folders identified with titles such as "The question of what makes a community", "The question of data colleciton", "The question of data commercialization", "The question of digital colonisation", "The question of unprecedented power".
Coincidentally, the Cambridge Analytica scandal burst out
publicly two weeks after the
mural was finished.
(In this photo: two security guards posing by the mural before the official opening of the building.)
2017, Centre Clark Architectural installation / Series of 20 lecture-performances.
This installation was created to present Vertically Integrated Socialism as a series of lecture-performances, delivered as live narration over still images and video animation.
Integrated Socialism is a work of anticipation that questions how radical inclusion can take shape in a free-market economy. Both descriptive and narrative, the lecture-performance is at once keynote presentation, architectural animation and
audiobook. The narrator reads a story in the second person, and brings
"you" into a radical housing concept that integrates the entire
social pyramid in a single building.
Vertically Integrated Socialism took different forms over the years. It was originally presented at the Bruges Triennale of Art and Architecture in 2015. (See below.)
Le temps de l’œuvre, le temps du travail / The Time of the Work
This project proposed, for
the duration of an exhibition, an economic system that allowed the acquisition
of artworks without money. To acquire a work, participants had to
spend inside the SIGHTINGS cube (a satellite exhibition space of the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery) a period of meditative isolation corresponding
to the time it took the artist to make the work. Sixteen artworks by Canadian
artists were acquired during the exhibition.
Vertically Integrated Socialism
2015, Bruges Triennial of Art and Architecture Architectural installation, models, video. [Watch video trailer]
Taking the disparity of Los Angeles as a point of departure, Vertically Integrated Socialism imagines a housing concept in which the entire social pyramid coexists in a single building — a closed architectural, economic and social environment. A video accompanying the installation explains how the system incorporates inclusive socialist policies in a ruthless free-market framework, creating a dynamic of contradictory value systems.
The project was commissioned by the Bruges Triennial of Art and Architecture, and built inside the church of the Grootseminarie in the city of Bruges. The exhibition comprised a micro-apartment, a model of the housing concept and a 43 minutes video.
Promised Land Template
2014, Commonwealth & Council 2014, Biennale de Montréal, MAC Architectural installation, paintings, light, cactus. [More information here]
2013, Concord, Los Angeles Modular architectural installation.
Watchtower Template (Brutalist Tree House) is a site-specific installation designed for Concord, an experimental art space and artist residency in Los Angeles (now closed). The tower is both an intrusion in the privacy of the residents and an intimate space where one can be away from the communal areas. The two modular L-shaped walls have handles that allow a constant reconfiguration or division of the living and working spaces of Concord, each time modifying the power relation between the watchtower and its surroundings.
Things Are Gonna Change I Can Feel It
2013, Torrance Art Museum Painted Sculpture.
Things Are Gonna Change I Can Feel It came out of a desire to create a work that is
transcendent and emblematic, like an anthem, but which signification remains
relative to an unknown future. While the sharp monolithic shape evokes 2001 Space Odissey, the words "Things
Are Gonna Change I Can Feel It" are painted from top to bottom on the
front side. It is a quote from the famous song "Loser" by Beck, but Beck
actually sampled it from a video by Steve Hanft, where the words are spoken by a
Chance, a character depicted as a loser. A glaze of dark brown submerges the work from the bottom,
progressively obstructing the colors, the words and their seemingly
2011, The Collective Show Los Angeles Architectural model, videos, text.
The Future is Deep was made for The Collective Show Los Angeles. The work was a collaborative project by L.A. Pedestrians, a loose collective through which we organized exhibitions in different countries. This model spatialized the current and future activities of the group as of 2011. Three spaces containing projects related to the group are here represented at 1:36 scale. These include Art Mur in Montreal, Canada; Espace Curtat-tunnel in Lausanne, Switzerland; and a rooftop in Los Angeles, USA. In addition, the model included a connective space with mirrored floor standing in for the physical space of the exhibition, as well as a bottomless room or pit of possibility containing the future of L.A. Pedestrians.
Self-Sufficient Artist Studio
AT1, Los Angeles. Collaboration with Melodie Mousset. Series of performances, architectural installation.
On The Top/Bottom was conceived as a dynamic, non-neutral space to host a series of performances. The architecture was both a container and a mechanism to experiment with relations of power between the performer and the audience. Our project was part of a larger curated group show (Volume, at AT1 Projects, Los Angeles), and beside our own program of performances we used the structure as a Trojan Horse to host a series of additional performances by guest artists.