To inaugurate the 2020-21 season and, at the same time, the second phase of our Frontier programming, “Remixes and Networks: Defying Boundaries,” TOPO welcomes the multimedia artist Sven’s immersive and interactive installation Plongeons from September 9 to October 10, 2020. Conceived using photographs of historic events, the project came to fruition by means of the augmented reality interface developed by the artist in collaboration with the creative developer Paul Gascou-Vaillancourt.
In a blatant refusal of context, Sven’s minimalist compositions revisit photographs of world heritage, of which he presents a falsified interpretation using an augmented reality application. At first sight, isolated individuals appear to plunge willingly into an environment that is neither truly reassuring nor specifically hostile, but simply completely empty. The monochrome backgrounds, homogeneous, pure and unchanging, are suggestive of the blue and green screens used to incorporate special effects into films. To this palette is added the colour red, the third primary element of additive colour synthesis.
By means of an application available via the App Store, the public is invited to revisit the images with their smart phones or tablet. These mobile devices, acting as digitizers and revealing other images – digital this time – superimposed on the printed photographs, add a doctored quality to the original composition.
Today the art of falsification is within reach of everyone thanks to image manipulation software and countless photograph retouching applications. Although the dissemination of doctored, distorted or falsified images is not a new fear, it is no longer limited to experts alone. By deliberately plunging a photograph into a kind of zero degree of representation and by adding to it a remix of enhanced interference content, the artist alters collective memory to the point that it fluctuates between documentary truth and fictional manipulation.
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Photo credit: Luc Girouard
A co-founder of the Mouvement Art Mobile (MAM) in 2012, he has initiated digital and public space events. Among other projects, he is the co-creator of Si tu connais un lien, an interactive installation in the lobby of the Musée de la civilisation in Quebec City in March 2018. He also co-organized with Culture pour tous and Littérature québécoise mobile the Twitter performance Particules - Correspondances inattendues as part of Journées de la culture in 2018 and 2019.
Sven also works in the institutional and academic arena to promote and obtain recognition for the contemporary concept of mobility in art. He is the organizer of three Week-end d’art mobile events at the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke, and his essay Pourquoi art mobile was published in issue 29 of the journal Théorème (Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle).
With MAM, Sven curated Mobilisations, the first retrospective of mobile art in Canada. Launched in 2016, it toured artist-run centres and Maisons de la Culture in Quebec until 2018. He also edited the project’s exhibition catalogue.