Publié le 13 September
Interview of Fraction – Nuit Textiles 2.0 – Festival Maintenant 2017
SHAPE artist Fraction will present his performance created with Louis Philippe St-Arnault, Entropia, during the Nuit Textiles 2.0 for Maintenant 2017. Discover his interview.
You started your career as a musician, what brought you to work on scenographies and installations?
This was a natural and progressive movement that occurred in 2005, when I started electronic production. Shortly after, the production was not enough to feed me emotionally. I needed something that would go further, something new. I started to steer at a rather experimental process of creation, where I would feel less monotony and repetition. This implies to handle several works simultaneously, with a multidisciplinary approach that I really like. As a result, I am less into composing nowadays, but when I do, I have more energy and a larger perspective. I think this switch made me gain ‘freshness’.
What was the creation process for Entropia? Did the thinking started with the scenography? The images? The sound?
Entropia has a really singular story. I have had a great amount of work of intellectual conceptualization at the same time as my residency at the SAT (Montreal). The story is based on a will I had to think the electronic performance on a sound perspective. The dome of the SAT was the perfect place to start this work as this venue is out of the ordinary and requires to think over the idea of performance. I started to develop several new tools so that I am able to spatialize sound in real time. Multichannel writing has a large background in France, but I was not much interested in spatialized electro-acoustic diffusion, which I found often lacks of dynamics compared to what I wanted to do. I wanted to create tools that are dedicated to this performance, they would be used in several contexts but they would be more appropriate to my sound, and to what I am looking for in my practice. The performance was built on the sound frame that I created, and that was meant to be used with these tools. The scenography, the images, and the lights came afterward, when Louis-Philippe St-Arnault joined the project.
What do you want to convey with this project?
When I was writing the storyline, I was absorbed with metaphysical and astrophysical concepts around entropy, energetic balances and the effect of some theories on our environment.
It acted as an inspiration, even as an obsession, especially the work on the idea of chaos. Understanding the mechanisms of entropy helps to better comprehend what is really going on with climate change and the imbalance humans create on their environment. It also helps to see what it takes to change things. We do not insist enough on the fact that everything that exists is a transformation of energy. Absolutely everything. In order to reduce our footprint, either our way of life become more efficient regarding its transformation (at an amazingly high level), or it stops transforming (but disappears). There is no horizon apart from that. At the other end of entropy is synergy, on which Buckminster Fuller has been writing a lot. He is an architect who popularized the geodesic dome, that flourishes again nowadays. This dome is an artifact of the energetic balance, as this is the only geometric shape we know that becomes stronger as it grows. This is the conceptual part, about which I could keep speaking for hours… I started to write Entropia in this context, in fact, almost like a movie. It is really narrative,but at the same time, it is an intense mental experience that anyone interprets as he or she feels it. Nevertheless, the position stays connected with my inspiration at this moment, and this unavoidable horizon.
You have been working with Louis Philippe St-Arnault on Entropia, what are the contributions of each of you?
At the end of my residency on sound spatialization, I went for LP who leads the immersion department at the SAT with this rather vague idea of a scenography and the idea of building a light object with a geodesic shape. He was interested in the project, he built this fully custom object and programmed it – there are 6000 fully addressed LED pixels. That was a tremendous job! I am really happy that he decided to join the project spontaneously. Then, we shared the lead while producing the performance, in addition to the visual contents from Nature Graphique and Creation Ex Nihilo. Today we tour the project together.
What was the aim of the partnership with the SAT in Montreal around Entropia?
The SAT co-produced the performance by inviting us in 2015 for a residency. This step allowed us to finalize the work, where all the pieces of the puzzle came together.
What are your connections with the Quebec scene?
Since 2013 through residencies or festivals, I spend time in Montreal regularly. Hence, I have an interest in what is going on there. This is a really dynamic territory where it seems to be less complicated to start projects. However, the local artist aim at touring in Europe, as the density of events offer more important perspectives than in North America. My stronger connection is with the SAT, that really supported me when I needed to.
Entropia has been presented in Canada, China, Europe. Are there other venues to come?
The project has been touring for two years now and to be honest, we were not expecting that. A lot of people discover the performance only now. The video has a high number of views but by watching it, one does not really gets how particular the live experience is, especially from a sound point of view. This implies that the more we play it, the more we have requests for new dates. We have just been playing in Mutek and the feedback made us hope that we are going tour again.
What is your outlook on the SHAPE platform?
This is a really interesting and structuring initiative that answers the questions artists ask themselves while touring. One could wish that the platform had the means to help more audacious projects, that would be more expensive to produce, which is happening in the audiovisual scene.
You know Rennes well. What is your outlook on the city and its cultural projects?
Yes, I do know Rennes! I lost a lot of health points there :)
I think that it has almost the ideal size to live there. I also know the various events, as -by the way- I played at the Transmusicales in 2001. About the artistic aspects in the field I am interested in, Rennes could be a bit like Montreal, a fertile ground to produce new projects, with lower production rates than in Paris. I think this is already happening, but the fact that France is centralized around Paris limits the visibility of the city and its actors.
What are the art projects you like or that inspire you at the moment?
I haven’t had a specific favorite recently. In the audiovisual field, I am a great fan of Ryochi Kurokawa, and I like his last work Node 5:5. I’m really interested in radical positions, and pieces that blow me emotionally. I am still convinced that beyond the technical setup, the artistic pertinence and what people feel are what make a work memorable.