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Alpha-ville & BFI present Ryoichi Kurokawa, syn_ . Photo by Federica Landi

The new episode of #A.I.L - artists in laboratories, the weekly radio programme about art and science i present on ResonanceFM, London's favourite radio art station, is aired tomorrow Wednesday afternoon at 4pm.

My guests in the studio will be Carmen Salas and Estela Oliva, the founders of Alpha-ville, a London-based organisation with a mission to connect people working in the fields of art, technology, design and digital culture. Alpha-ville has been busy since 2009 organising events, commissioning new works and curating programmes for arts and cultural organisations, festivals, promoters, events and agencies.

During the show we will be talking about what it takes to be a digital curator and producer today, and we will also discuss EXCHANGE, Alpha-ville's upcoming conference which will bring together some of the most talented digital artists and designers but also the community of Londoners working at the crossroads of art, technology, design and digital culture. That's going to be on January 17th and last time i checked there were still a few places available.

The radio show will be aired this Wednesday 8 January at 16:00, London time. Early risers can catch the repeat next Tuesday at 6.30 am. If you don't live in London, you can listen to the online stream or wait till we upload the episodes on soundcloud one day.

Photo on the homepage: 24 Sep - Hearn Street Emptyset 077.

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F.A.T. GOLD Europe by F.A.T. Lab. Photo by Boudewijn Bollmann for MU Eindhoven, 2013

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F.A.T. GOLD Europe - Five Years of Free Art & Technology is the European streak of the GOLD exhibition that opened at Eyebeam in New York last Spring. F.A.T. Lab was born in 2007 but 5 years sounds better in a title than 'almost 7 years' (the show was originally scheduled for November 2012 but got postponed because of Hurricane Sandy, hence the "5 years".) In any case, I'm grateful to MU for having brought the show so much closer from home.

I'm sure most of you know F.A.T. Lab, the international group of 25 artists, hackers, engineers, lawyers, musicians, and graffiti writers who collaborate on projects that look at technologies and media in a critical but also entertaining way. F.A.T. Lab is committed to supporting open values and the public domain through the use of emerging open licenses, support for open entrepreneurship and the admonishment of secrecy, copyright monopolies and patents.

The exhibition allowed me to catch up with works from F.A.T.'s early days and discover new pieces they launched on the opening night. I'm sure curator Lindsay Howard had a ridiculous amount of fun looking into the dozens of projects that F.A.T. has been churning out over its (so far) brief existence. I wish i could mention them all and even add a couple more but i'll keep it short and fast by highlighting only a couple of exhibited works that are particularly representative of the ethics and ethos of the group.

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Golan Levin and Shawn Sims, Free Universal Construction Kit. Photo by Boudewijn Bollmann for MU Eindhoven, 2013

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Golan Levin and Shawn Sims, Free Universal Construction Kit. Photo by Boudewijn Bollmann for MU Eindhoven, 2013

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Golan Levin and Shawn Sims, Free Universal Construction Kit

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Golan Levin and Shawn Sims, Free Universal Construction Kit

The gloriously acronymed Free Universal Construction Kit is a set of adapters that enable children to connect and lock together blocks from ten construction toys made by different companies. Lego®, Duplo®, Fischertechnik®, Gears! Gears! Gears!®, K'Nex®, etc. The complete interoperability between otherwise closed systems allows for designs that had so far been restricted to children's imagination.

Adapters can be downloaded from Thingiverse and other sharing sites as a set of 3D models and then fabricated using personal 3D printers.

The Free Universal Construction Kit isn't just about playing and building though, the project is also an invitation to look at the complex issues of copyright-protected artefacts that accompany the future of 3D printing. "This isn't a product. It's a provocation," explained Levin. "We should be free to invent without having to worry about infringement, royalties, going to jail or being sued and bullied by large industries. We don't want to see what happened in music and film play out in the area of shapes."

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Greg Leuch, Shaved Bieber. Photo by Boudewijn Bollmann for MU Eindhoven, 2013

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Greg Leuch, Shaved Bieber

But some F.A.T.'s works are just what they seem to be. Absurd and provoking. Only that quite often they lead to surprising repercussions. Greg Leuch spent a few hours making an extension that would hide all mentions of Justin Bieber on the webpages you visit. He posted it on the F.A.T.'s blog and got on with his life but the extension garnered far more attention than expected. The press loved it. Bieber's fans not so much and the artist was soon inundated with messages from indignant teenagers and grateful parents.

@gleuch i freaking hate u... go somewhere and never come out. u old molester creep fag. BIEBER fans are about to pee in ur face for this.

Mum just showed me that she did block justin bieber on the computer. So ive locked myself in the bathroom and im crying.

In fact, Leuch received so many emails and tweets about the project that he's now sharing the most amusing of them on tumblr.

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Evan Roth, Ideas Worth Spreading (TED Talks). Photo by Boudewijn Bollmann for MU Eindhoven, 2013

I'm obviously a big fan of Ideas Worth Spreading, as i am of any project, article or thought that challenges the TED cult. Just go to the MU gallery with your own Power Point presentation and deliver a talk that will stun/delight/horrify the audience using the fake TED stage complete with headset, camera, gigantic red letters, screen, spotlight, etc. After that go home and edit and upload your own pirate TED talk.

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Theo Watson and F.A.T. Lab, 40,000 GML Tags. Photo by Boudewijn Bollmann for MU Eindhoven, 2013

GML, or Graffiti Markup Language, is an open file format designed to store graffiti motion data.

Currently, there are over 40,000 tags in the #000000book database. The projection screens tags in chronological order, from the very first ones drawn by Tempt1, to the most recent captured by a variety of GML-powered apps.

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Geraldine Juarez, F.A.T Nika Award. Photo by Boudewijn Bollmann for MU Eindhoven, 2013

Each year, Ars Electronica's Golden Nica awards give rise to intense debates, frustrations, satisfactions, anger and congratulations in the art and tech world so I love the super simple idea behind the F.A.T NIKA award. The 3D modelled replica of Ars Electronica's statuette is copied from a wikipedia photograph. Geraldine Juarez prints one each time she wants to award a prize to an artist whose work she admires. You're very welcome to head to the project page and do the same.

A few more photos from the show:

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Photo by Boudewijn Bollmann for MU Eindhoven, 2013

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F.A.T. GOLD Europe by F.A.T. Lab. Photo by Boudewijn Bollmann for MU Eindhoven, 2013

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F.A.T. GOLD Europe by F.A.T. Lab. Photo by Boudewijn Bollmann for MU Eindhoven, 2013


F.A.T. GOLD Europe - Five Years of Free Art & Technology, a video by stichting MU

If you can't make it to Eindhoven to see the show this month, then do check out The F.A.T. Manual, edited by Geraldine Juarez in collaboration with Domenico Quaranta and Published by Link Editions.

You can either get it print on demand (this way, please) or download it for free as a PDF. Alternatively, you're very welcome to ruin yourself on amazon UK.

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Photo by Boudewijn Bollmann for MU Eindhoven, 2013

F.A.T. Lab members are Mike Baca, Aram Bartholl, Magnus Eriksson, Michael Frumin, Geraldine Juárez, KATSU, Tobias Leingruber, Greg Leuch, Golan Levin, Zach Lieberman, LM4K, Kyle McDonald, Jonah Peretti, Christopher "moot" Poole, James Powderly, Evan Roth, Borna Sammak, Randy Sarafan, Becky Stern, Chris Sugrue, Addie Wagenknecht, Theo Watson, Jamie Wilkinson, Bennett Williamson, and Hennessy Youngman.

F.A.T. GOLD Europe - Five Years of Free Art & Technology is open until January 26 at MU in Eindhoven.

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Elisa Fantozzi, Les Marchands du Temple, 2001. Photo Luce Moreau

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Photo Luce Moreau

2014 already and a happy one to you! I thought i'd celebrate the new year with a write up about one of the events i enjoyed the most last year. Once again, my applause goes to the Gamerz festival. I'm embarrassed to admit that it took me months to publish this post since i'm going to repeat the same praises i heaped up on the previous editions of GAMERZ: this festival is imaginative, offbeat, laid-back and its energy never wavers. It's also a great place for me to discover young artist and it takes place in Aix-en-Provence which is never unpleasant.

I already talked to some of the participating artists: Thomas Cimolaï told me about The trophies from the 6th continent and Luce Moreau explained Constance, an installation in weightlessness. But there were plenty of other installations and performances that deserve some blog space.

Let's start with Bookfighting!

In 2005, the French made the news all over the world when they installed book-vending machines in the streets of Paris. A few years later, they are literally throwing books at each other's heads.

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Yves Durathon/Labomedia, Bookfighting, 2009. Photo Luce Moreau

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Yves Durathon/Labomedia, Bookfighting, 2009. Photo Luce Moreau

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Yves Durathon/Labomedia, Bookfighting, 2009. Photo Luce Moreau

One of the performances i was really annoyed to miss was Yves Durathon's bookfighting. The concept, rules and spirit are embedded into the title. Wearing protective gear and following strict rules, the fighters pick up pocket books from a heap and use them as projectiles for combats. Bookfighting started as a performance and has grown into a practice mixing combat sports and culture.

With this sport, Durathon wanted to celebrate the passage from paper culture to digital culture. Books, as we know them, are already objects from the past and the new combat sport is probably the only remaining mode to enjoy them in a lively, joyful way.

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Labomedia, WikkiIRC, 2012. Photo Luce Moreau

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Labomedia, WikkiIRC, 2012. Photo Luce Moreau

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Labomedia, WikkiIRC, 2012. Photo Luce Moreau

Labomedia's WikikIRC, the sound of Wikipedia is a piano 'played' by wikipedia.fr. The flow of the modifications made by the editors of the French version of Wikipedia are transformed in real time into sounds.

A robot posts each modification made on Wikipedia.fr on a chat (the "IRC" channel). The texts are then converted into an electric pulse which turns on a servo motor that activates a hammer rail (extracted from a piano). This hammer activates after that a piano key, which uses its hammer to hit on a string (triple string or "trichord") to produce an audible sound. Played one after the other, these sounds, besides create a little bit of harmony in this world, describe the activity that grows daily on this collaborative encyclopedia.

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Djeff Regottaz, Call Box Emergency, 2013. Photo Luce Moreau

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Djeff Regottaz, Call Box Emergency, 2013. Photo Luce Moreau

Just like the books, phone booths are dying a slow death. Nowadays, the only times i see them is on TV when the villain calls a public street phone to communicate instructions on where to leave the ransom money. Djeff Regottaz modified an old phone so that anyone can leave a message there anonymously and it's the next person who picks up the receiver who will hear the message. Very simple but incredibly intimate, charming and mysterious. Unless you happened to listen to the dumb message i left, of course.

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Mathias Isouard, SynesTV, 2011. Photo Luce Moreau

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Mathias Isouard, SynesTV, 2011. Photo Luce Moreau

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Mathias Isouard, SynesTV, 2011. Photo Luce Moreau

I don't remember the last time i switched on a TV so, to me at least, this is yet another dead technology. Mathias Isouard gives the telecommunication device a new function by playing with synesthesia. Viewers do their most ordinary job: they sit down on a couch and switch channels to get bombed by audiovisual stimuli. Only this time, the device will invert the senses, to visualize auditive variations and hear visual variations from the televisual live stream. SynesTV offers a purely stimulatory interpretation of the TV stream, devoid of informative content. You can get a vague idea of the images generated in the few minutes of this video interview with the artist. I just learnt from this interview that the remote control is called 'la zappette' in french. How i grew up speaking french without ever hearing that hilarious word is a mystery.

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Colson Wood. Photo Luce Moreau

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Colson Wood. Photo Luce Moreau

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Colson Wood. Photo Luce Moreau

Because the region Marseille-Provence was the European Capital of Culture in 2013, Colson Wood, a carpenter experimenting with art and architecture, decided to symbolically move the icon of the French capital South of the country and erect a wooden Eiffel Tower in the garden of the Art School of Aix-en-Provence. The result was quite magnificent even though the tower has been built on a 1:24 scale, aka the Playmobil scale.

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Antonin Fourneau, Water Light Graffiti, 2012. Photo Luce Moreau

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Antonin Fourneau, Water Light Graffiti, 2012. Photo Luce Moreau

I interviewed Antonin Fourneau a few days ago about Eniarof. He was showing Water Light Graffiti at Gamerz. You might have heard of it, it's a wall covered with thousands of LEDs that light up when touched by water.

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Jankenpopp. Photo Luce Moreau

Jankenpopp's electronic one man shows are very popular in France. I think. In any case i find him hilarious and talented. Jankenpopp works with video, sound, hacks video game devices to make music. Here's a video of his work, but it doesn't do justice to his ability to make people dance and laugh:

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Photo Luce Moreau

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Marie Poláková, Micro Pets, installation, 2013. Photo Luce Moreau

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Marie Poláková, Micro Pets, 2013. Photo Luce Moreau

Marie Poláková will never convince me to adopt microscopic organisms as pets i could care for and even grow to love but i like that she is thinking of designing 'lifestyle accessories' for them.

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Peter William Holden, Vicious Circle, 2012. Photo Luce Moreau

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Peter William Holden, Vicious Circle, 2012. Photo Luce Moreau

Peter William Holden, Vicious Circle, 2012

Peter William Holden's Vicious Circle has a very clunky, antiquated built. However, as soon as the robotic installation gets into motion, the sculpture gets much lighter and elegant. Vicious Circle is inspired by the the Industrial Revolution and the subsequent changes in human development. "The motion of the machine reminds me of the relentless movement of progress as the machine moves to its predetermined program, ignorant of its environment and unwilling to stop if anything gets in its way," writes the artist. "Though paradoxically it is possible to see beauty within its movements as the life size cast hands rise and fall forming a swarm that flocks together like birds in a choreographed dance to Prokofiev's "Dance of the knights". Thus reminding me that technology is a double edged sword and we / humanity have the possibility to decide which direction it will take."

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Peter William Holden, AutoGene, 2005. Photo Luce Moreau

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Peter William Holden, AutoGene, 2005. Photo Luce Moreau

The artist also splendidly choreographed umbrellas. I blogged about the installation a hundred years ago so instead of writing down something, i'm going to encourage you to have a look at the interview Gamerz did with the artist:


Interview with Peter William Holden at Gamerz

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Ewen Chardronnet, ZERO-G ENTREPRISE (still from video), 2013

Artist Ewen Chardronnet was showing the HD3D video of his experience on the first parabolic weightless flight, zero gravity flight for tourists, Air Zero G provided by AVICO company, the first French air broker.

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Tatiana Vilela, Oort, 2013. Photo Luce Moreau

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Tatiana Vilela, Oort, 2013. Photo Luce Moreau

I also got the one below in the photo pack from the festival. I do believe i've missed this performance.

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Photo by Luce Moreau

More images from the festival on M2F Creations flickr stream. I've got some more over here.

The Age of Collage. Contemporary Collage in Modern Art. Edited by Dennis Busch, Robert Klanten, Hendrik Hellige. Preface by Silke Krohn.

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Available on amazon USA and UK.

Publisher Gestalten writes: The Age of Collage is a striking documentation of today's continued appetite for destructive construction. Showcasing outstanding current artwork and artists, the book also takes an insightful behind-the-scenes look at those working with this interdisciplinary and cross-media approach.

The collages featured in this book are influenced by illustration, painting, and photography and play with elements of abstraction, constructivism, surrealism, and dada. Referencing scientific images, pop culture, and erotica, they reflect humanity's collective visual memory and context.

Through confident cuts, brushstrokes, mouse clicks, or pasting, the work in The Age of Collage gives the impossible a tangible form. It expands the possibilities of the genre while turning our worldview on its head along the way.

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Nils Karsten

A book with Yul Brynner on the cover was always going to get my attention.

The Age of Collage adopts the model that made the success of Gestalten books. Plenty of efficient images and a few comments about each of the 80 artists whose work is presented. The intro is more informative than usual (or maybe that's just because i know so little about collages), it says a few words about the strategies of collage, its history and even more interestingly about its presence in contemporary culture from the Beastie Boys' video Sabotage to sampling or mood boards of ads agencies (or even Pinterest i would add.)

And because this book is a visual joy from cover to page 285, i'm going to leave you here with a few discoveries i made while flipping through it:

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Jorge Chamorro, Handmade collages for Poisson Soluble, 2013

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Jorge Chamorro, Pair, 2013

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Beni Bischof

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Brian Vu, Outer Limits, 2011

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Valero Doval, Arlequin Series, 2009-2011

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Valero Doval, Monkey Twins

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Valero Doval, Circus dog I

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Linder Sterling, Oh Grateful Colours, Bright Looks, 2009

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Sarah Eisenlohr

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Nils Karsten

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Dominic McGill, The Splitting of Reality in Two Parts is a Considerable Event, 2009

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Nicholas Lockyer, Leave me no choice but to plot my revenge, 2012


Views inside the book:

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Eniarof Aix 2013. Photo by Manuel Braun

I've been hearing about, seeing and discussing the work of Antonin Fourneau for a few years now. I even met him and played with his works on more than one occasion. Yet, I never took the time to properly sit down and have an online interview with him. I'm sure many of you have read about Antonin's rather magnificent Water Light Graffiti or about his interactive pieces that revisit and reposition classic video games. Maybe i'll sit down again one day and interview him about his artworks but right now, i felt it was high time to get him to talk about ENIAROF, the geeky funfair he's been orchestrating since 2005. Eniarof looks like nothing you've ever experienced. It's like a very wild, very Far West version of a digital art festival, with elements of village fair, hacker meeting and circus thrown here and there.

Eniarof is a reinvention of the funfair where the concept of the attraction becomes an excuse for art. The creators of each Eniarof take their inspiration from popular culture, ancestral and new, obeying the rules of the "Dogmeniarof". Karaoke, Lucha Libre, video games, art installations, performances, gory films and curiosity cabinets can all be found on the jolly & unprejudiced grounds of the Eniarof funfair.

The last edition of Eniarof looked a bit like this....

Eniarof Aix 2013. Video by Alex "A2HN" Napoli

And without further ado, here's what Antonin had to tell us about Eniarof. Scroll down if you prefer to read the interview in its original version (french).

Hi Antonin! What is the story of ENIAROF?

I was a student at the Art School of Aix-en-Provence when I started Eniarof. The idea for the project started to germinate in 2004 when I was participating in the exhibition Power at Villette Numérique with the collective Téléférique.

The piece "Fan" contained already quite a few tracks for collaborative collaboration that i wanted to keep persuing in the future. At the same time, entertainment industry workers with intermittent contracts were protesting in France. In the context of the scandal of amusement park employees (Mickey, Minnie and the others) working all year long but under a casual employment contract, I had the opportunity to read an article about the disappearance of funfair model in favor of a business model closer to the amusement park. The article also echoes Rem Koolhaas' book Delirious New York in which I discovered that an attraction was a rather interesting object at the crossroad between installation, pop culture and innovation.

I was just missing the artistic 'Freaks' side that you could find in a fun fairs but not in an amusement parks. Then I simply asked myself about the kind of environment I would have liked to evolved after art school and the idea of working exclusively in the digital art world was freaking me out. It felt like a ghetto that lacked the recognition from the art world and refused to embrace its popular side.

That was in 2005 and now the situation has changed a little: people are more tech-savvy thanks to the smartphone in the pocket, they are also more comfortable with the idea of ​​interacting. But when I created Eniarof, my idea was to decompartmentalize digital creation as much as possible and to disinhibit it while mixing it with other forms of interaction, with the public but without a computer. I thought it needed ​​different degrees of public interaction. So in general people go through an arcade with a new breed of interaction then they'd venture to slip on a jumpsuit made out of tyre to play 'pogo bumper car' or wear a wig to play HardRock simply by shaking their head. That's how Eniarof was born.

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One Life Remains, Slam Of The Arcade Age. Eniarof Aix 2013. Photo by Manuel Braun

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Eniarof Aix 2013 photo by Manuel Braun

How did it grow from a student project to a village fair slash high tech geek festival that counts 13 editions?

I've always been bad at promoting Eniarof. If you search online, you'll need to fish for information. Nonetheless, whenever I had the opportunity to present the project, I found that people were seduced by the concept. Soon enough we received proposals from festivals or cultural structures that were willing to welcome us just through word of mouth. I did not want to confine the project to a repetitive formula that would be presented each year at the same place. When I launched the project I was talking about a 'downloadable' funfair and I imagined a system of fair that would be easily duplicable. A bit like Dorkbot or Maker Faire. In the end, Eniarof did not go in that direction and I think that ultimately what we managed produce with our Eniarofer group is a kind of family and festive cohesion even though we meet only once or twice per year but the public knows us and returns because Eniarof's atmosphere cannot easily be compared to anything else.

Then there must have been a small evolution over the past few years because even the City of Poitiers called us to organize Eniarof 12 in a space of Blossac Park in connection with their Christmas fair. Eniarof is quite a polymorph party that comes with an array of representations and organizations that vary depending on the context. The Eniarof we ran in Aix-en-Provence or in Slovenia in collaboration with organizations that trust us have turned into real residence laboratories to build over a short period of time (2 to 3 weeks) what were essentially new attractions. In other Eniarof, you get 50% new attractions and 50% attractions that are already running with success and that guarantee a good atmosphere.

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Arcade Backpack (UCLA) @Eniarof, ESAAix with the Eniarof Fanfare next to the town center of Aix. Photo Daan de Lange

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Eniarof Aix 2013. Photo by Manuel Braun

There is an ENIAROF dogma, however, the event is still in the hands of a lot of improvisation, DIY, freedom, and collective efforts. So i suspect that things might not always run smoothly. What have you learnt over the editions of ENIAROF?

The main objective of the Dogmeniarof is to set the tone and give an idea of ​​the spirit of Eniarof but in reality we hardly ever fully comply with the rules of Dogmeniarof.

What works, what doesn't?

We could say that, in general, what does not work anymore in an edition of Eniarof is something that used to work well. For example, this year, we have a sound fencing game that met with such success that on the first night someone ripped the device cable from the wall. Which is great and proves that an attraction works when you do not even have to explain people how to play with it.

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Monsieur Moo, Brouette Tuning. Eniarof Aix 2013. Photo by Manuel Braun

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Alexandre Saunier, Helmetron. Eniarof Aix 2013. Photo by Douglas Edric Stanley

I'm curious about some of the projects shown during the last ENIAROF in Aix-en-Provence. In particular: the Wheelbarrow (Brouette tuning), Helmetron, and Arcade Concrete. Could you tell us a few words about these works?

Brouette Tuning first appeared in 2007 during the Eniarof in Slovenia. We've since presented it at 4 or 5 editions of Eniarof. This is a piece by Maxime Berthou aka Mr. Moo. It embodies in an object what Enairof is: pimped recycling, a touch of technology, mobility and lots of fun. The wheelbarrow is our best way to attract people. Just go out in the street with it and people wonder what's this UFO.

Helmetron was created by Alexandre Saunier and piloted as an Eniarof trio with Douglas Edric Stanley and me.

A few words of explanation from the author:
"""""
This is a light and sound instrument for computer. A bit like Isaac Asimov's Visi-sonor in the Foundations series except that here, the computer is the interpreter. In the end, we are immersed in the very heart of the computer and in its data stream, we are bathed in the files it reads and converts into light and sounds. It's 'glitch', it's hardcore, it looks a bit like a digital machine dream, it's a bit like Tron but without Disney's special effects.

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Alexandre Saunier, Helmetron. Eniarof Aix 2013. Photo by Manuel Braun

Two of my favourite anecdotes:

A guy took off the helmet and asked me:
" - What's the color inside the helmet?"
" - There's only orange, it's the only light I'm sending at the moment"
" - Oh, right, I was wondering cuz I've seen some green, blue, white and orange."

And then there was this girl who was shaking and trembling from time to time, I was afraid she was epileptic. When she took off the helmet she told me that she felt like she had tiny animals, insect-like, that were walking on her.

Otherwise what is interesting is that the reaction of people is always different, depending on their physiology / nervous system, some see circles, other see fractals, colors, etc.
.
"""""
What attracted me to his work is its Clockwork Orange 2.0 side which I think very few people would have enjoyed in another context. Here, however, we had people queuing to scan the mazes of the computer. This is one of the reason for Eniarof success: we take the public on board by mixing borderline and conceptual things in many different experiences and the public completely indulges.

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Antonin Fourneau and Manuel Braun, Arcade Concrete. Eniarof Aix 2013. Photo by Manuel Braun

Arcade Concrete is a project I developed with Manuel Braun with whom I've done several pieces (Patch&ko, Eggregor8, MadNes, Domoludens, spongegame ... ) which often revolve around the idea that the game interface can be sculpture material like any other and this sculpture material involves specific mechanisms and forms related to the gameplay of the software. It's as if every video game could get a materialization of its physical interface other than the standardized one and this materialization would involve a re-reading of its gameplay.

The context of the game offers an interesting space to observe our behavior. The halls of game arcades in the '80s and '90s used to play the role of physical and community space of video games. Arcades then disappeared in favor of 'in-house' games. And finally the video game is back in the urban space thanks to mobile devices. Arcade Concrete questions the place of video games in urban space. Playing on your iPhone in the underground is not the same as standing in front of a terminal and playing in front of everyone. There is now a terminal that sits at the entrance to the Art School of Aix-en-Provence and it became a space for discussion. Our objective is to multiply performances by casting terminals all over the world. A bit like Invader pasting mosaics, we will try and optimize the placement of a terminal and we will write down a user manual in the Eniarof book.

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Antonin Fourneau and Manuel Braun, Eggregor, 8 players are 1 pacman and try to play together. Photo decept.org

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Antonin Fourneau and Manuel Braun, Eggregor. Eniarof Aix 2013. Photo by Manuel Braun

And if you had to chose 5 projects shown at ENIAROF over the years, which ones would they be?

We have quite a few projects that have become "best playable" and that got more exposure such as:

Hyper Olympic by Djeff Regottaz and Loic Horellou where you play a remake of Track & Field with a very physical interface. It has now become a staple of festivals and it makes for a great atmosphere.


The Hyper Olympic Party - Parizon@dream - Gaïté Lyrique - June 9, 2012 - Dekalko

Eggregor8 by Manuel Braun and myself where 8 people play Pacman at the same time, as if 8 people were using the same joystick.

What's funny is that in 2010 there was a video game exhibition at the Centre Pompidou and most of the works invited were Eniarof pieces but they didn't even realize that the pieces were connected.

We could call it the BeaubourgNiarof.

There's also a work called "A battre" which Raphael Isdant created during the second edition of Eniarof in Aix-en-Provence. That one traveled a lot too.


Raphael Isdant, A BATTRE

There are also works that are either more unexpected or more specific to Eniarof Aix-en-Provence.

Such as Pogo Tamponneuse, a fighting ring where you need to put on a suit made of tyre in order to face your opponent. Video soon!

Or the Fucking Machine battle which was a bit borderline and totally surrealist.

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Eniarof Aix 2013. Photo by Manuel Braun

Eniarof has a dogma that mentions that ENIAROF has to take place in the proximity of an Emmaüs. Could you tell us why?

Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg's Dogme 95 often refers to economy of means. When I mounted Eniarof, my goal was to avoid going overboard with projects that swallow too much money simply because I could see that there was no budget for young artists. At the time, I was often hanging out in Emmaus where I saw many materials that Emmaus did not necessarily know what to do with. In addition, it is often nice to recycle, it gives you the feeling of having done something ecological.

Another thing that surprised me in the dogma is that the barman is paid as much as an artist. Why do you think it is important that every participant receives the same fee?

At the beginning of my career as an artist I was horrified to see that a festival was paying the guard or the bartender more than they were paying me. I wondered what was the future for us if artists were forced to sell themselves off just to get some exposure. Add to that that during this festival my work ended up being destroyed. Fortunately, the trend has now reversed for me, but it used to be a bit of a rule to remind me that I don't sell off artists the way i was sold off.

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The Book of Eniarof

What is next for ENIAROF?

We're working on a book.
We have a call for donations on KissKissBankBank.

We are also in touch with people on the other side of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean to make other editions of Eniarof over there but nothing's confirmed so I won't speculate too much.

Thank you Antonin!

If you want to see more images of Eniarof, check out:
Antonin's flickr set.
ENIAROF pool.
Daan de Lange flickr set.
The very staged HEAD Media Design flickr set.


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Eniarof Aix 2013 photo by Manuel Braun

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Eniarof Aix 2013 photo by Manuel Braun

If after this long interview you're still wondering what Eniarof is, this video might enlighten you:

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and now for ze frenchy version:


What is the story of ENIAROF?

J'était étudiant à l'Ecole d'art d'Aix-en-Provence lorsque j'ai démarré Eniarof.
L'idée du projet a commencé à germer en 2004 lorsque j'ai participé à l'exposition "Power" à Villette Numérique avec le Collectif Téléférique :

La pièce collaborative "Fan" du collectif regroupée déjà pas mal de piste de création collaborative que je voulais mener à l'avenir. Puis à la même époque nous avions des soulèvement intermittent en France. Avec le scandale des employés des Parc d'Attractions (mickey, Minie et autres) travaillant à l'année mais considéré comme des intermittents, j'ai eu l'occasion de lire un article sur la disparition du modèle de Fête Foraine d'avant au profit d'un business modèle plus proche du parc d'attraction. L'article faisait aussi écho au livre New York Délire de Rem Koolhas dans lequel j'ai pu découvrir qu'une attraction était un objet assez intéressant entre installation, culture pop et innovation.

Il me manquait juste le côté Freaks artistique que l'on trouve dans un fête foraine mais peu dans un parc d'attraction. Je me suis ensuite simplement demandé dans quel milieu j'aimerai évolué après l'école d'art et la vision d'oeuvrer seulement dans le milieu art numérique me faisait flipper. J'avais la sensation d'un milieu ghetto en manque de reconnaissance du milieu de l'art et ne voulant pas embrassé son côté populaire.

C'était en 2005 et maintenant la donne a un peu changé les gens sont plus numérisés avec des smartphones dans la poche et plus à l'aise avec l'idée d'interaction. Mais à l'époque au moment où je fonde Eniarof mon idée était de décloisonner un maximum la création numérique et la décomplexer tout en la mélangeant avec d'autres formes d'interaction avec le public et sans ordinateur. Je pensais qu'il fallait apporter différents degrés d'interactions au public pour le décomplexer. Ainsi en général les gens passe par une salle de jeux vidéo revisités avec des formes d'interactions qu'ils connaissent pour ensuite oser s'aventurer à enfiler une combinaison en pneu pour faire du pogo tamponeuse ou encore enfiler une perruque pour jouer du HardRock simplement en secouant la tête. Ainsi Eniarof est né.

How did it grow from a student project to a village fair slash high tech geek festival that counts 13 editions?

J'ai toujours assez mal communiqué sur Eniarof il n'y a qu'a regarder sur le Net il faut partir à la pêche aux information. Cependant à chaque fois que j'ai eu l'occasion de présenter le projet les gens ont accroché au concept. Donc assez vite on a eu des propositions de festivals ou structures qui voulaient nous accueillir simplement grâce au bouche à oreille ils ont entendu parlé du projet. Je ne voulais pas enfermer le projet dans un projet récurent qui serai présenté chaque année au même endroit. A l'époque où j'ai lancé le projet Je parlais d'une fête foraine téléchargeable j'imaginais un système de fête duplicable facilement. Un peu à l'image des Dorkbot ou Maker Faire. Mais eniarof n'a pas vraiment pris cette direction et je crois que finalement ce que nous arrivons à produire avec notre bande d'Eniarofer c'est une sorte de cohésion familiale et festive même si on ne se retrouve que 1 ou 2 fois par an le retour du public qui nous connait est que l'ambiance dans un Eniarof et difficilement comparable à autre chose.

Ensuite il y eu une petite évolution ces dernières année car lors du Eniarof 12 c'est carrément la Ville de Poitiers qui a fait appel à nous pour occuper un espace du Parc de Blossac dans la continuité de leur fête foraine de Noël. Eniarof est une fête assez polymorph qui a un tas de représentation et organisation différentes selon le contexte où nous sommes. Les Eniarof que nous avons mené à Aix-en-provence ou en Slovénie dans des structures qui nous font confiance étaient l'occasion de vrai laboratoires de résidence pour quasiment construire en un temps court (2 à 3 semaines) essentiellement de nouvelles attractions. Dans les autres Eniarof c'est un 50/50 de nouveautés et d'attractions qui roulent déjà bien et garantissent la bonne ambiance.

There is an ENIAROF dogma, however, the event is still in the hands of a lot of improvisation, DIY, freedom, and collective efforts. So i suspect that things might not always run smoothly. What have you learnt over the editions of ENIAROF?

Le DogmeNiarof est surtout là pour donner le ton et une idée de l'esprit dans lequel se déroule un Eniarof après effectivement on est très rarement dans le respect intégral des règles du dogmeniarof. (je vais te donner un lien URL du dogme on est en train de refaire le site)

What works, what doesn't?

On dit en général que ce qui ne marche plus lors d'un Eniarof est quelque chose qui a bien marché. Par exemple cette année on un jeu d'escrime sonore qui a super bien marché. Tellement que dés le 1° soir quelqu'un a arraché le dispositif de câble du mur. Ce qui est génial et prouve qu'une attraction marche c'est quand on n'a même pas à expliquer aux gens comment jouer avec notre attraction.

I'm curious about some of the projects shown during the last ENIAROF in Aix-en-Provence. In particular: the Wheelbarrow (Brouette tuning), Helmetron, and Arcade Concrete. Could you tell us a few words about these works?

Brouette Tuning est apparue en 2007 pour le Eniarof en SLovénie et fût présenté à 4 ou 5 Eniarof depuis. C'est une pièce de Maxime Berthou aka Monsieur Moo. C'est un symbole concentré en un objet de ce qu'est Enairof : de la récupération pimpée, un zeste de technologie, de la mobilité et beaucoup de fun. La brouette c'est notre meilleur moyen pour attirer du monde. Il suffit de sortir dans la rue avec et les gens ce demandent c'est quoi cette ovni.

Helmetron est une création de Alexandre Saunier qui a quasiment drivé Eniarof en trio avec Douglas Edric Stanley et moi.
Quelque mot de l'auteur pour quelques explications :
"""""
C'est un instrument lumineux et sonore pour ordinateur. Un peu comme le luminophone d'Isaac Asimov dans le cycle des fondations mais ici c'est l'ordinateur qui est l'interprète. Au final on plonge dans au coeur meme de l'ordi et on vit ses flux de données, on est stimulé au fil de ses fichiers qu'il lit et qu'il transforme en lumière et en sons. C'est glitch, c'est hardcore, ca fait un peu pensé à une dream machine numérique, c'est un peu comme Tron mais sans les effets spéciaux à la Disney.

Pour les anecdotes, mes deux préféré:

-> un mec a enlevé le casque et m'a dit
"Y'a quoi comme couleur dans le casque?"
"y'a que du orange, c'est tout ce que j'envoie comme lumière pour le moment"
"Ah. j'me demandais, perso j'ai vu du vert, du bleu, du blanc et du orange."

-> y'a une nana qui avait des secouses/frémissements de temps en temps, j'ai eu peur qu'elle soit épileptyque d'ailleurs^^
quand elle a enlevé le casque elle m'a dit qu'elle avait l'impression d'avoir des petits animaux, genre insectes, qui se baladait sur elle.

Sinon ce qui est intéressant c'est que la réaction des gens est toujours différente et dépend de leur physiologie/système nerveux, certain voients des cercles, des fractales, des couleurs...

www.alexandresaunier.com .
"""""
Ce qui m'a séduit dans sa pièce est le côté Orange Mécanique 2.0 auxquels je pense peu de gens auraient adhéré dans un autre contexte mais là on avait une queue de gens qui voulaient scanner les méandres de l'ordinateur. C'est une de nos réussite dans Eniarof en mélangeant des choses à la fois borderline et conceptuel on arrive à embarquer le public dans plein d'expériences différentes et il s'y livre avec plaisir.

Arcade Concrete

C'est un projet que j'ai réalisé avec Manuel Braun avec qui j'ai réalisé plusieurs pièces (Patch&ko, Eggregor8, MadNes, Domoludens, spongegame...) qui tournent souvent autour de l'idée que l'interface de jeu peut être un matériaux de sculpture comme un autre qui implique des mécanismes et formes particulières liées au gameplay du software. Un peu comme si chaque jeu vidéo pouvait avoir une matérialisation de son interface physique autre que standardisé et qui impliquerai une relecture de son gameplay. Le contexte du jeu est un bel espace d'observation de nos comportements. les salles de bornes d'arcades dans les années 80-90 jouaient pour nous ce rôle d'espace physique et communautaire du jeu vidéo. Les salles d'arcades ont ensuite disparu au profit des jeu en salon. Et finalement le jeu vidéo est revenu dans l'urbain au travers des dispositif mobiles. Arcade Concrete est un questionnement sur la place du jeu vidéo dans l'espace urbain. Ce n'est pas la même chose de jouer sur son iphone dans le metro que de s'afficher devant tout le monde debout entrain de jouer devant une borne. Il y a maintenant une borne qui trône à l'entrée de l'école d'Art d'Aix-en-provence et c'est devenu un lieu de discussion. Notre idée est de multiplier les performances en coulant des bornes un peu partout dans le monde. Un peu à la Invaders qui pose ses mosaïques nous on va chercher à optimiser la pose d'une borne et on va rédiger un mode d'emploie dans le livre Eniarof.

And if you had to chose 5 projects shown at ENIAROF over the years, which ones would they be?

On a pas mal de projets qui sont devenu des "best playable" et les plus exposés comme :
hyperolympic de Djeff Regottaz et Loic Horellou où vous jouez à un remake de track'n field avec une interface de jeu très physique qui est devenu maintenant un incontournable des festivals pour mettre la grosse ambiance.


The Hyper Olympic Party - Parizon@dream - Gaïté Lyrique - June 9, 2012 - Dekalko

et Eggregor8 de Manuel Braun et moi où vous jouez à Pacman mais à 8 en même temps comme si vous étiez 8 sur la même manette

C'est drôle d'ailleurs car il y a eu en 2010 une exposition dans l'espace 13-16 du centre Pompidou sur le jeu vidéo et ils ont invité essentiellement des pièces Eniarof sans même se rendre compte qu'il y avait un lien entre nous.

On pourrait appeler ça le BeaubourgNiarof

Il y a aussi la pièce "A battre" de Raphael Isdant qu'il avait créé lors du deuxième Eniarof à Aix-en-Provence et qui depuis à aussi beaucoup tourné


Raphael Isdant, A BATTRE

ensuite in y a des pièces plus inattendus ou très spécifique à Eniarof Aix-en-provence

comme Pogo Tamponeuse un ring de combat où vous devez enfiler une combinaison en pneu pour affronter votre adversaire.
vidéo prochainement

ou encore combat de Fucking Machine qui était border line et complètement surréaliste.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/atoimage/10856699295/in/set-72157637674537996
http://www.flickr.com/photos/atoimage/10856672265/in/set-72157637674537996

The dogma mentions that ENIAROF has to take place in the proximity of an Emmaüs. Could you tell us why?

Dans le dogme93 de Lars von trier et Thomas Vinterberg il est souvent question d'une économie de moyen. Mon but quand j'ai monté Eniarof était de ne pas tomber dans l'excès des projets qui engloutissent trop d'argent car tout simplement je voyais bien qu'il n'y avait pas de budget pour les jeunes artistes. Je traînais souvent à l'époque dans les Emmaus et je voyais qu'il y avait beaucoup de matériaux dont les Emmaus ne savaient pas forcément quoi faire. En plus c'est souvent agréable de recycler un objet on a l'impression d'avoir fait un acte écolo.

Another thing that surprised me int he dogma is that the barman is paid as much as an artist. Why do you think it is important that every participant receives the same fee?

Au début de ma carrière d'artiste j'étais horrifié de voir que le vigile ou le barman était mieux payé que moi sur un festival. Je me demandais quel avenir pour nous artiste si on était obligé de se brader juste pour s'exposer. En plus dans ce festival ma pièce s'est en plus faite détruire à la fin. La tendance c'est heureusement inversé pour moi mais c'était un peu une règle pour me rappeler à moi même si je dois inviter des artistes que je ne les brades pas come on m'avait bradé moi.

What is next for ENIAROF?

on a un livre en cours de réalisation
d'ailleurs on a un appel au don ... J'ai pas encore l'URL du KissKiss

et on a eu pas mal de bon contact pour réaliser d'autres Eniarof d'ailleurs de l'autre côté de l'Atlantique et au bord de la Méditerranée mais encore rien de validé donc je ne m'avancerai pas trop.

Merci Antonin!

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