L'Agence TOPO is launching an important monograph publication about a groundbreaking Quebec visual arts collective.

.(La Société de Conservation du Présent) 1985-1994
D'ailleurs, ceux qui viendront après ne s'en souviendront pas non plus.
(Besides, those who will come afterwards won't remember either.)


Born in 1985, .(La Société de Conservation du Présent) is a collective that fused visual art, technology and archives through the profuse artistic production they engaged in until 1994. The important monograph published by Agence TOPO underscores the prominence of this group and pays tribute to the late Philippe Côté, a philosopher and conceptual artist. He was one of the three founding members of the .(SCP) along with the software author Alain Bergeron and the photographer, pamphleteer and author Jean Dubé.

At the time, the critical, sharp, humorous, and sometimes irreverent trio bore witness to a new intellectual, artistic, and social dynamic. The world order, the twentieth century, language, technology, museology, the free circulation of archives, and Third World debt were some of the many fields of investigation that led them to take a stance and spurred them into action. The often furtive but resolutely prolific collective made its mark through its rubber-stamped words and icons, its slogans and pictograms, and its zealous (mis)use of punctuation in numerous printed documents and laminated plastic cards, which conceptually illustrated their key themes. Partly bilingual (French and English) and abundantly illustrated (photographs and archival documents from the Philippe Côté archival fonds), the monograph contains an important chronology of actions from the collective derived from a lengthy interview with Philippe Côté conducted in 2011. Texts commenting on the three founding principles of the group (the Archival Principle, the Art of the Promise and Idleness) are punctuated with stories from authors who focus on the context underpinning the .(SCP)’s open-ended artistic production. A chapter foregrounds the collective’s groundbreaking role in the then-nascent new media field. An in-depth chronology and bibliography complete the volume.

Directed by Sonia Pelletier
in collaboration with Michel Lefebvre and Bernard Schütze.

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Table of content


Venir après…
Coming After….
Sonia Pelletier


Histoire à suivre, pour le présent
Revisiter .( La Société de Conservation du Présent) .(SCP) à travers le regard d’un de ses membres fondateurs, Philippe Côté
Unfinished History, for Now
A Look Back at .(La Société de Conservation du Présent) .(SCP) through the Eyes of One of Its founding Members, Philippe Côté
Bernard Schütze


1. le principe d’archives

Le principe d’archives de .(SCP)
The Archive Principle of the  .(SCP)
Denis Lessard


Pour une nouvelle cartographie
Sonia Pelletier


2. l’art de la promesse

Tenir ou non promesse
To Keep or Not to Keep a Promise
André-Louis Paré


L’ellipse. Quatres épisodes dans la vie de la .(SCP)
Guy Sioui Durand, Tsie8ei, 8enho8en


3. le désœuvrement

La mise en épochè de l’.(œuvre)
The .(artwork) in Épochè
Michaël La Chance


Mes traces .(SCP)iennes
Philippe Bézy


Et un mot sur le 4e picot
François Côté


Des actions infiltrantes


À l’aube des nouveaux médias

Artistes à la conquête d'un nouveau médium : l'approche .(SCP)ienne de la programmation
Michel Lefebvre


Musée Standard. Culture légitime.
André Éric Létourneau


La ‘Calembredaine : la verve poétique du hasard
Philippe Bézy et Michel Lefebvre


Des pictogrammes





ISBN : 978-2-9810580-1-0
Prix : 28,99 $
Format : 18.5 X 24 cm, 275 p., 4 couleurs/illustrations