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Pierre-Yves Desaive: The production units of Thomas Bayrle

27 03 2013 19:00 20:00

In his essay “The Language of New Media", theorist Lev Manovich reconsiders the close affiliation between the programmable loom developed by Joseph Marie Jacquard and Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. Citing Ada Lovelace for whom “the Analytical Engine weaves algebraical patterns just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves,” he points out that a programmable machine synthesized images well before being used to process numbers.

Pierre Yves Desaive Les unités de production de Thomas Bayrle

Agnelli im Fiat Dschungel, 1971

For Manovich, the development of modern media and computers, following parallel trajectories long before meeting under the guise of “new media”, are the two phenomena that have made the advent of our mass societies possible. As such, one could wonder if the unlimited reproduction and distribution of images (and the concepts they convey) can ever be separated from the assembly-line production of consumer goods, as the works of Thomas Bayrle so convincingly propose. Although often associated with Pop Art, he maintains an ambiguous relationship with this movement: Warhol aped industrial production (The Factory) to create works marked by artistic uniqueness, whereas Bayrle conceals his gesture behind images that appear to have been generated by a computer. This is hardly an insignificant paradox for an artist using near-artisanal processes, steering clear from the digital flow of our consumer society, all while perfectly illustrating its excesses and abuses.

After his studies in art history, Pierre-Yves Desaive completed a master’s degree in computer science applied to the humanities, which spurred his interest in the artwork’s adaptation to the virtual world. At the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, he created the Digital Museum service, which oversees the research projects related to the digitization of collections and their online access. As a critic (president of AICA Belgium from 2009 to 2012), he published regularly in national and international art magazines (correspondent for Flash Art International in Belgium). As a teacher at ENSAV-La Cambre, and member of the Digital Arts Commission of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB), he is particularly interested in how artists subvert digital technologies of information and communication exchange for critical purposes. He has no Facebook or Twitter account.

19:00 - In French


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