WJ-SPOTS 1 NICOLAS FRESPECH

INTERVIEW OF NICOLAS FRESPECH IN THE SPECIAL ISSUE OF MCD : WJ-SPOTS#1

/ Who are you? Can you tell us in a few words what you have been doing these last few years?
/ I studied fine arts at the Internet Editorial. I’ve had a computer since I was 11. I’ve always done art. I remember, as a child, I loved to send decorated envelopes: it was mail art. My practice was radically modified by multimedia and especially the net; I dropped my brushes and my color crayons to throw myself into code, the art of making links.
I also directed videos, but the practice that has stayed with me is photography.
In 1996, I got some help putting my first artistic creation on the net, La Maison des Immondes Pourceaux (The House of the Gross Pigs), and I’ve been hooked ever since… I’ve never stopped. Hypertext was an
absolute revelation. I was part of a public procurement operation, when the Languedoc-Roussillon FRAC (Regional Contemporary Art Fund) decided to acquire my Je suis ton ami(e)… tu peux me dire tes secrets (I’m your friend… you can tell me your secrets) before it got censored; which it still is today. In retrospect, I think that event was actually helpful for me. My current practice is exclusively connected; I can no longer create anything without conceiving of it in the framework of its relationship with the Internet… and with others.

// You have been involved in network activities or netbased projects for many years. From an artistic perspective, what has been happening in this field?
What have you witnessed or found interesting about the internet? What is your experience and feeling about the birth and the adolescence of the internet?
// Artistically speaking, I’ve been lucky enough to see unbelievable works of art that have inspired and compelled me. The potential and
the technical progress of software programs have grown extremely quickly, powerfully spurring the production of artistic projects.
Currently, for example, I’m particularly interested in mobility. I’d also like to do an art piece on what’s being called invisible Internet,
off-network, so to speak. I grew up with the web, and I thought that mainstream Internet was invented just for me. I knew of forums where they imagined the net while it was happening, that is a cultural net open to experimentation. You hardly mentioned e-business. Services improved, the connections as well, and people started to get connected… The lack of critical thinking on the part of mass media, still fascinated by the biz, is unfortunate. There probably aren’t enough true Internet critics, but things are changing; I really believe in a cultural Internet, with artistic creation and information sharing. Let’s talk about Google, for example, whose hegemony serves as practically our unique guide on the net and tells us what we can (or can’t) see on the Internet, or FlickR, which stores our photographs, our memory, without any guaranties.
The privatization of personal details is currently a trend for sites that ”offer” a service without ever saying exactly what they get in return. Nobody forces people to use Google, nobody gives it a second thought, but when do we finally get that famous, publicly owned,
powerful, European search engine? Let’s also talk about preservation; how do we guarantee, for example, the permanence of art work on the net?

/// From a social, political, artistic or philosophical point of view, what is the impact of the concept of the network? How has the Internet and the idea of the network modified your attitude and practice, your relation to space and time, and the way we behave, work, think, share, exchange, collaborate, create…?
/// The idea of networks makes me think that what’s changed is that things are on a different scale. You’re in networks at school; you’re in knowledge exchange fellowships, with your girlfriend’s buddies because you’re looking for a top executive position. The scale of things, and dematerialization, have never stopped increasing.
Internet is a super tool. To make it an artistic one, you just have to understand its grammar, and then get used to it. On the other hand, it seems that some practices on the net are changing people’s behavior: for example, people on dating sights behave like serious segregationists when they’re profiling, but they deny it! There’s something extremely fascinating about the dematerialization
and digitalization of all this information. But to get back to art, the net has changed the rules of the game with the dematerialization and
circulation of cultural products. As for what we called net art, that’s different: it’s art that was designed to be seen via a connection; some people in the art world are really interested in the net, others couldn’t care less and only want to be able to see the price of physical world artists in “real time” on the net!
What’s interesting about my art work is that the net is the tool I use for inspiration, creation, promotion, collaboration and dissemination… It’s quite coherent… It’s also important for me to have as much autonomy as possible when I’m creating pages: to know how to write HTML, PHP, etc… to be able to understand the material and know how to make it “creative.”

//// In the future, do you think internet will still be an interesting territory to explore ? Do you think it can be a fertile space for creation? Do you think it will produce interesting, mutating, hybrid artistic forms where the physical world and the virtual world can mutate, merge, fuse or collide?
//// Telephony, connected objects, captors, geolocalization… the net that accesses the physical world is already here. In Spain, you can
already “microchip” your body. Next, as artists, we have to figure out what to do with it all, with the cell phones connected to the net, with the nanotechnology, etc… and produce art work that, if possible, has meaning, critically and artistically.

///// What are, for you, the most important, emblematic, essential, exemplary websites of the last 15 years?

< http://www.madoff.ch >
< http://www.thing.net/~nicolas/index2.html >
< http://joy.nujus.net/w/?page=lascaux2.org >
< http://www.synesthesie.com/syn09/creations/identite/ >
< http://www.magasin-cnac.org/archives/closky/with/frespech/ >
< http://www.poptronics.fr >
< http://www.sfr.fr/Nokia-N95 >
< http://pages.ebay.fr/dssdd >
< http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/275441112578 >
< http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=14558716 >
< http://www.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/noresults.asp?SAT=1&SRH=17&SZE=... >
< http://www.priceminister.com/nav/Hifi_camera/f1/Jemecherche >
< http://www.cdiscount.com/search/je+me+cherche/sa-10.html >
< http://www.kelkoo.fr/b430-Philips >
< http://store.apple.com/fr/browse/home/shop_ipod/faily/ipod_nano?mco=hyuhuyh >
< http://www.pixmania.com/fr/fr/r/jemecherche >
< http://www.eveiletjeux.com/Produit-127/tente-princesse-pop-up.htm >
< http://www.laredoute.fr/Error_Pages/ProductNotFound.aspx?apperr=2&pg=pro... >
< http://www.3suisses.fr/FrontOfficePortail/r/jemecherche >
< http://www.madeindesign.com/com.expershop.lite.ExperSHOP >
< http://www.yves-rocher.fr/control/keywordsearch >

 

WJ-SPOTS #1 extract
The WJ-SPOTS#1 magazine, english & french, 104 pages, 9 € (or 7€ format pdf) is available :  Buy this edition :  print edition  | pdf format 

 

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