“Horizons” ‣ Chapitre 3 – Ambivalences #1 – Nantes

Publish on 13 July 2021

Ambivalences #1 – Environmental changes

In a society struggling with the resurgence and constancy of environmental, social, cultural, economic, political and sanitary crises, the digitization of our lives makes the reading and analysis of these mutations even more complex.

Assuming that technology is not neutral, that its exponential deployment impacts our entire ecosystem, and that the place of art and culture is essential to explore these questions and issues, Electroni[k], Stereolux and Oblique/s join forces to present a series of meetings entitled Ambivalences.

Chapter 3 – Horizons

Thursday, 9th of September 2021 | 14h00 – 18h00
Stereolux | Halle 6 Ouest | 4 Boulevard Léon Bureau – 44200 Nantes

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Following the first two chapters of Ambivalences “Environmental Mutations” cycle devoted to the links between art and ecology and to the question of care, this third and final chapter will look at the way in which these mutations invite us to rethink our relationship to technique, and in particular to digital technologies. If the criticism, in particular ecological, of the technical system on which our modern societies are based is old, the current climatic emergency and the exponential deployment of digital technologies requires to invent new horizons as for the place that it takes in our lives.

With six conferences, addressing themes ranging from the links between technology and the living, from the technocritical approach in art to current technical controversies, this chapter will explore the links between technology and environmental mutations, and the way in which artists and researchers take up this question.

More than a conclusion, this chapter is meant to be an opening to the upcoming cycles of Ambivalences, dedicated to the mutations of the living and to the political mutations. For the question of technique in general, and of digital technologies in particular, the common thread of Ambivalences, cannot be thought of independently of the political, philosophical and anthropological mutations to which it contributes.


  • 2:00pm – 2:15pm : Introduction 

Pauline Briand is a journalist and author specialized in environmental issues. For Billebaude, Usbek & Rica or the National Museum of Natural History, she has written about myxomatosis, forests and climate change, the disappearance of insects, the evolution of life, and anthropology beyond the human.


  • 2:15pm – 2:45pm :  Technologies at the time of the living: between forgetting the technique and capturing it through resilience

Alexandre Monnin, scientific director of Origens Media Lab, teacher-researcher in a management school (ESC Clermont BS)

In recent years, the field of “environmental” studies has seen a spectacular advance in work on living organisms, to the point of becoming a veritable publishing phenomenon (see in particular the publications of Actes Sud). This has been done in part to the detriment of reflection on technologies. However, since the middle of the twentieth century, technologies have been explicitly inspired by the living. If biomimicry or bio-inspired approaches immediately come to mind, it seems to us that it is resilience, as a mode of governmentality extended to the whole of the living world, which constitutes the most subtle device for capturing contemporary ecological thought. This observation forces us to think differently about the relationship between life and technology.


  • 2:45pm  – 3:15pm :  Arts, technologies, ecologies: queer and feminist perspectives

Marc Jahjah, lecturer in communication sciences at the University of Nantes & Laurence Allard, lecturer in communication sciences at the University of Lille/IRCAV-Paris 3

Biohacking and transanimism, ecofeminism and decolonialism, repair cafe and makerspace… what do queer and feminist epistemologies have to tell us about our technical condition, about the means of living in a ruined world?


  • 3:15pm – 3:45pm :  The ocean floor: a new Eldorado?

Clémence Seurat, artistic programmer and editor

After two centuries of intensive extraction of fossil and mineral resources on land, a new race is emerging in the oceans, where drilling is being experimented with in deep waters to respond to the predicted depletion of raw materials. This search for deposits is made possible by a socio-technical device which, however remote, complex and invisible, questions the multiplication of innovations and the idea of progress that underlies them, while human activities are altering the conditions of life on Earth.


  • 13:45pm – 4:00pm : Break


  • 4:00pm – 4:30pm : Is there such a thing as technocritical contemporary art?

Maxence Alcalde, art theorist, art critic and teacher

“Technocriticism” is generally understood as the posture of providing a reasoned critique of technique and/or technology. We find occurrences of this in environmentalist thought (precautionary principle), in philosophy (responsibility principle) or in medicine (benefit/risk ratio). But what about the appearance of this notion in contemporary art? What forms do technocritical discourses take in current creation?


  • 4:30pm – 5:00pm : From cradle to the grave : tech won’t save us 

Benjamin Gaulon, artist and teacher

“From cradle-to-grave: Tech won’t save us”, presented by artist and teacher Benjamin Gaulon, offers a systemic analysis of the social and environmental impacts of information and communication technologies (ICTs) from cradle to grave (cradle-to-grave or life cycle analysis), through an exploration of artistic practices, design and hacktivism that aim to raise awareness or propose sustainable alternatives to a linear system based on programmed obsolescence.


  • 5:00pm – 5:30pm : Spring Odyssey

Elise Morin, artist

Through the presentation of Spring Odyssey, a transdisciplinary project combining virtual reality, augmented reality and biology, Elise Morin will discuss the way she approaches and questions the links between technology and environmental mutations in a sensitive manner.


  • 5:30pm – 6pm : Discussion & conclusion

Pauline Briand, journalist, editor and consultant


Ambivalences is based on the festivals Maintenant in Rennes, Scopitone with the Labo Arts & Tech in Nantes and ]interstice[ in Caen. It emanates from an inter-regional dynamic carried by Electroni[k] (Brittany), Stereolux (Pays de La Loire) and Oblique/s (Normandy). It is part of the reflections carried by the national network HACNUM, around the stakes specific to the actors and the sector of the hybrid arts and digital cultures.



© Picture : Elise Marin
Visual Identity : Studio Triple

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