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Title: FROM BITS TO PAPER: A short history of the aesthetics of rematerialization
Authors: Pais, Filipe
Keywords: rematerialization
digital-physical dualism
Issue Date: 18-Oct-2017
Abstract: This article is inspired by From bits to Paper, a group exhibition I have curated at Le Shadok, a center for arts and digital creation in Strasbourg, from the 8th Mars to the 5th June 2016. The exhibition addressed the complex and dualistic relationship between digital and physical worlds, displaying a selection of contemporary artworks that explore the clash between these two worlds. The artworks presented invert the agenda of most designers, and the remediation processes they use to develop contemporary interfaces through the use of de-contextualisation and rematerialization tactics. As designers work hard in creating sexy and smooth interfaces that connect physical and digital worlds, they tend to obfuscate their inner-processes. By displacing Google pins, tweets, GPS traces and other native objects from the digital to the physical world, these objects become present-at-hand, losing their operational status. In other words, these familiar though intriguing rematerializations become available to contemplation but we are unable to use them. Despite the literal, humorous and sometimes absurd traits found in some of these rematerializations, a closer appraisal might disclose interesting thoughts on how digital interfaces are modelling our perception, memory, privacy, but also the dreams of the algorithms and how these are challenging and re-organizing our interactions and physical spaces. The article will focus on the recent history of rematerialization as aesthetic trend, by analysing the work of some of the most prominent and proliferous artists such as Aram Bartholl, Clement Valla, Metahaven, Space Invader, James Bridle, Darko Fritz or Jan Robert Leegte. Several themes have been identified amongst the different artistic practices and they all seem to resonate with some ideas explored by Marcel Duchamp. In this sense, the final section of the article presents a speculative view on how recent rematerializations can be seen as updated ready-mades from the digital age.
Description: Biography: Filipe Pais (b. 1983, Portugal) Filipe Pais is a lecturer, researcher and artist interested by the ways technologies affect and shape human and social behavior. Besides his activity as a lecturer in the field of interactive media (arts and design), he’s a research associate at the Reflective Interaction group from EnsadLab (the laboratory of ENSAD - École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Decoratifs) in Paris. During his doctoral research entitled Experience and Meaning-making Process in Interactive Arts - The influence of play and aesthetic distance in interactive art encounters (UT Austin Portugal, FEUP, University of Porto), Filipe was interested by the aesthetics of play in art experience. After this, he worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the project The Behavior of Things (EnsadLab and University Paris 8) exploring the aesthetics of behaviour in inanimate objects (ex. a door that sighs, or a video camera that refuses to surveille). He was also a student of Seap a Master program on Arts and Politics conducted by Bruno Latour and Valérie Pihet at Sciences Po, Paris. His artworks have been featured in different art festivals and group exhibitions. Lately, he curated two group exhibitions: From Bits to Paper (Le Shadok, Strasbourg) and Re-enter Lisbon (CPAI, Lisboa).
Appears in Collections:1. Re:Trace Conference - Keynotes, Papers & Posters

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