(A)Bugs is an interactive ceramic sculpture –at a time when working with ceramics is regarded as “totally lame, not hype at all you know!”– but also an ironic game on dogmas.
The piece uses the Bluetooth capabilities of visitors’ mobile phones to adress them individually as they wander around the exhibition space by using or perusing their electronic identity, and getting their attention towards what has now become a common practice – invisible surveillance. Surveillance has been a major theme of the XLRMX.ORG collective (ChaosCam is an amusing proof of that) which will be present there. The sculpture actually “talks” to the viewer with speech synthesis, engaging him/her in subjects depending on what it can gather on the viewer and where s/he is located (reach, away, stays close, etc.)
Refusing to take side, the sculptural work is central to the critique of dogmas.
“Obscurantism is not only present in religion and politics with their fundamentalist or totalitarian surveillance dead-ends, it’s also something that we have inside ourselves. Playing with these themes is important if one wishes to exercise one’s criticism and not fall into the easy ‘them vs us’ kind of attitude. It’s also about admitting we’re human and that sometimes, we slip, we make mistakes. That’s why a bug is here for. And we can do something about it.” said Philippe Langlois commenting his work.
By Philippe Langlois and the XLRMX.ORG collective.
P.S. Ironically, Nicolas Sarkozy and Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres names popped up on the opening invitation leaflet. It caused a stir on the art scene. The biennale organization tried to downplay the event.
UPDATE: because of comment, well… “bugs” i couldn’t approve this comment i got from http://xlrmx.org/. here’s a copy of it:
Of course, as this is the common practice among mediatic people, neither Dominique Donnedieu de Vabres, Minister of Culture, nor Nicolas Sarkozy, Minister of the Interior, did show up at the opening.
Also, on a funnier note, a power shortage occurred during the opening, leavingthe first floor in complete dark. At this point, only one installation continued working: (A)Bug because it was connected to a different circuit from the rest of the exhibition.