Jérôme Delormas is director and founder of La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris, one of Europe’s – if not one of the world’s – most innovative and forward-thinking centres for interactive and digital art, and contemporary music in the digital age. With many forms of innovative technologically-driven and immersive art increasingly appearing on the art scene – not only in galleries but more recently, in the bigger institutions such as Tate’s The Tanks, the Barbican and the Design Museum – we ask, will this relatively new art genre completely change the way we experience art, and will it be subsumed in to the contemporary art market or will it run as a separate commercial entity alongside it?
We asked Jérôme Delormas for some expert answers…
1) Aside from the developments in technology, digital and interactive art installations, audiovisual art and moving image has made art more interactive and immersive for its audiences. How do you think this is changing the way we experience art and perceive the space around us?
Interactivity and immersion allow us to amplify our relationship to reality and to the others who are part of this reality. Individual experiences and collective experiences are emphasized.
2) Augmented reality and video projection are generating a lot of interest right now. Do you think they may prove more exciting than real touchable art in the future and how do you think they may affect the art scene in general?
Right now I see a lot of artists go back and forth between the touchable and the virtual. Nobody (or a minority!) wants today’s digital society to become a purely virtual society. The main revolution brought to us by new companies is not the technology itself but its uses. Social innovation and technological innovation work together. Low tech and high tech both have to develop themselves, but technology has to be owned by the people.
3) Digital and interactive art in some forms is also a very attractive tool for big brands when it comes to advertising, events and marketing. How do you think this will affect the genre’s progress in the art world as an art form?
Digital and interactive, mainly social networks, can be the worst or the best. In fact, we know how some brands or their agencies use every kind of science, neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, etc, to better understand how to control our us, our emotions, our desires, and therefore control us as potential clients. It’s good for business. but we have to be conscious of it. The other face of it can be positive: networks and interactivity are a fantastic tool for developing collaborative works, that can turn a very centralised society towards being decentralised, mobile, intelligent and systemic systems.
That can be true for energy, food, transports, urbanism, recycling, and of course for creation – using collaborative spirit to make everybody a potential actor of the creation. It brings personal development, creativity, better social relations and understanding to the world. We have to be aware of the very fragile limits between control and interactivity.
4) Tell us more about transmedia storytelling in the recent ‘H5 Hello’ project and how it worked?
‘Hello H5′ is a perfect response to the third question: imitating perfectly the system to know it and to be able to escape from manipulation. The storytelling of ‘Hello H5′ is a simulacre. We can live and enjoy the fantastic and creative world of a great brand. We can also be conscious that all that is created, controlled and manipulated. So it is great to be innocent and conscious at the same time! The show asks: how can we look at the brands after the ‘Hello H5′ experience?
5) Can digital and interactive art ever become enter the art market as an art investment like more traditional forms of art have?
It’s difficult to imagine it. Some artists, curators and galleries dream to create a specific market for this kind of art. And the problem is that: labelling it ‘this kind of art.’ Trying to enter traditional categories is an error for me because it reveals a very academic way of thinking art. Art should show how we relate to the world, not just make money. All that’s digital and interactive is moving and changing everything, it’s a new paradigm. So, considering these new forms through old categories is total nonsense. And even if it does happen – this ‘new market’ – the interesting thing is the innovation, the incredible potential for us to relate to the world differently. This will be outside of the traditional mode of thought surrounding what I call the ‘old categories’. And it will reveal and create a specific and new business model.
I don’t want to choose here! My choices are clear in my programmes.
‘Hello H5′ at La Gaite Lyrique runs from 11th October – 30th December 2012 and is descried as ‘A playful and sometimes frightening mise en scène of the marketing strategy of a brand, to enchant the kids and get adults asking questions.’
Homepage and top image by Maxime Dufour. All other images courtesy of La Gaîté Lyrique