Which art project do you attend the Amber with?
I attended Amber with “Cyporn”, a set of 5 animated “pixel porn” scenes running on a Game Boy and inspired by the avatars of “Cyworld” (the number one social networking website in South Korea).
What is your aim with your art work?
I wanted to criticize the “cult of cute” that is everywhere on Cyworld, and by extension, on the Korean market. As a European, I felt really strange knowing that 90% of the 24 to 29-year olds who have an account on this website spend so much time on a website where they actually are represented by tiny formatted and conventional pixel dolls that make them look like child. I think there is a really big gap between Facebook or Myspace profiles, where you certainly will be able to find some “compromising” photos taken in party (or at least a picture of a couple kissing), and a Cyworld “minihompy” that seems to me very *prudish and repressed. I could make a similar comment about the South Korean society and the *unacknowledged sex industry or prostitution market but I’ll just say that Cyworld appeared to me as magnifying mirror of the Korean paraxodes. That’s why I made this “sexplicit”, dirty and kitsch parody of Cyworld where “minimies” are getting laid.
How does your project works?
I needed small and cheap display devices for my animations, that’s why I used Game Boys for this project. It certainly complicated the message, since “Cyporn” can be considered as a videogame, but I really wanted to surprise the users. I liked the idea that they might be feeling like they have been “caught” or have disturbed virtual characters. I went in that direction and put the handled consoles on really kitsch cushions that recall love hotels. A message on the screen was inviting the public to crouch and press a button. If so, a random “pixel porn” scene was oaded with explicit sounds (speakers were hidden in the cushions) until they pressed again end up the spectacle…
Could you describe your process of creation?
I started digging in the virtual item gallery to grab some character sprites that could be undressed and put into a porn scene. In the same way, I decorated few virtual rooms using the Cyworld material like I could have done it for my profile. Except for the cloth removing and the animation part, I didn’t change anything to the original sprites. Most of the characters are just crying or kneeling for the women (after they got dumped), and shouting of joy for the men (I remember using soccer players). I made a first prototype with HAM (a Game Boy Advance development kit) in 2007 during my stay in Seoul. I wanted to test the reaction of my Korean friends, who were too polite to say that I was a really weird guy (not to mention pervert). It kind of ‘shocked’ them, since they couldn’t really understand how I possibly could see sex in Cyworld. I finally asked Florian Brönnimann to code the final homebrew version with DevKit Pro when I got back in France few months later. Nicolas Guyon created some samples from a porn movie that we modified and used for the sound effects.
How long have you been producing digital art?
I started with 3D real-time applications during my studies at “L’Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique” (Nantes school of design, France). In 2006 and 2007, I won two prizes with my team during the student contest of Laval Virtual but really started to produce interactive installations during my stay in South Korea, where I kept learning interaction design at the International School for Advanced Studies of Seoul. I founded the “llllllllllllll” (L16) design lab with Jean-Yves Rigal and Henri Derudder after this experience and we now spend a part of our time working on interactive projects that are showcased in various festivals or exhibitions.
How do you describe your art as an artist using technology?
I’m a designer before being an artist, that’s why I consider these projects as an extension to my design work. My job is to design web or mobile user interfaces for the industry. I must follow design patterns, usability rules and web standards and even if constraints stimulate creativity, I sometime need to experiment things with a different purpose. I like explore new ways of using objects and technologies, so my “art” can be described as an experimental way of designing interactions. Cyporn is not a really a good example, but it reflects my desire to create alternative or new user experiences. It’s finally a way to deliver a message to the public, and share my thoughts about a subject…
What made you choose digital media as medium?
I chose it as a medium because it allows the user to interact with your work and become part of it. Using tangibles objects and working on projects that don’t involve screens make this possible. It’s also important to work with an iterative process that allows to evaluate and adjust the user experience.
You’re working with datas and interfaces which are not as durable as classic materials like paint, marble etc.;what do you think of filing digital art to pass them on to the future generations?
I think that’s important to keep a trace of every digital work. The question is: will we be able to even read these digital materials in 30 years? I’m not sure, and that’s a huge problem. What should we archive? The art piece itself or a video of it? I personally gave up the idea of “backuping” my work and consider it as ephemeral. As I focus on the user experience, I guess that what I spent weeks to build will be done by someone else in few days in the future…
Do you have aesthetic concerns while producing your art?
As long as it contributes to the user experience or the message yes. I often use existing products for my installation, and pay attention to the scenography. I think that’s important because it helps catching the attention of the public, but I can’t say I’m really good at it. I would be glad to work with product and interior designers to improve my installations. That’s something we are starting to do at “llllllllllllllll”.
What do you think of the interaction between technology and human?
Interaction between technology and human is a critical issue. We are surrounded by screens and electronic device. Designer’s main stake is to help industry building smart applications and clever devices. Technology should not only help users doing their tasks and achieving their goals but also connecting people together. In my opinion, one of the artist’s aims is to freely explore things that designers wouldn’t even think about.
Do you think technology leads to passivisation of its users? Are we interactive or interpassive? Why?
We’ll tend to be interpassive until technology become part of our body. Then we’ll be fully interactive. And then we’ll store our soul on “alephs”. Haven’t you read Gibson?
L’équipe du festival A-m-b-e-r a interviewé Pierrick Thébault au sujet de sa participation à l’édition 2008. Il y décrit la création de Cyporn et revient sur sa démarche personnelle. L’interview est disponible à cette adresse.
J’ai le plaisir de vous annoncer que l’association a commandé des jumper wires M/M et F/F ainsi que des Break Away (straight et female) pour ses montages futurs! Les membres peuvent en faire la demande par e-mail !
La page “Nous rejoindre” est à présent en ligne. La liste des expositions et la frise chronologique ont également été mises à jour. Vous avez à présent un peu plus d’informations pour adhérer à l’association. A bientôt!
L’association est à présent ouverte aux nouveaux membres, sous réserve de l’acceptation de notre règlement et d’une cotisation annuelle de 10 euros. N’hésitez donc plus à nous rejoindre pour participer aux projets de l’asso ou à soumettre vos travaux. Nous accueillons ce mois-ci Toni Daluz et Cédric Mivielle, étudiants à l’école de design de Nantes, qui seront prochainement référencés dans l’annuaire.
Suite à l’assemblée constitutive du 20 décembre 2007, l’association “L16″ a été déclarée le 21/12 à la préfecture de Loire Atlantique. Les buts de l’association et la constitution du bureau sont disponibles sur la page “Qui sommes nous?“.