“La Belle Vie Numérique,” 30 artistes from Rembrandt to Xavier Veihan” is a thought provoking snapshot of contemporary artists reacting to digital technology, the internet and the world according to GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple). It is one of the best exhibitions in Paris at the moment… and it’s free. Curated by Fabrice Bousteau (editor-in-chief of Beaux Arts Magazine) it includes very recent work by mostly European artists showing computer-generated 2-D and 3-D media, computer-assisted animations and installations (to March 18, 2018).
A poignant video animation loop “Alone Together” by French comics artist and filmmaker Winshluss —contemplating the isolation of “smartphone dependency”— near the entrance sets the tone for the exhibition. And like a manifesto a sign on the second floor reads “If Leonardo de Vinci had a 3D printer he would have used it.” Illustrating possibilities for such digital art tools French artist Xavier Veilhan exhibits stunning angular multi-faceted sculptures created with a 3-D scanner and printer. The exhibition’s most spectacular Installation is “Tempo II” by Marie-Julie Bourgeois featuring screens connected to 270 webcams transmitting “live” 270 different skies around the world.
And what about Rembrandt? The exhibition includes “The Next Rembrandt,” a video (in English) that discusses making “a possible painting by Rembrandt.” A pseudo Rembrandt painting was created in 2016 by Microsoft engineers using a program that analyzed the technical characteristics of portraits made by the Dutch master in the seventeenth century. With 148 million pixels and 168,263 copied fragments of different Rembrandt works the engineers came up with a very convincing imitation.
“La Belle Vie Numérique,” 30 artistes from Rembrandt to Xavier Veihan” (to March 18, 2018) Fondation EDF, 6 rue Récamier, 75007 Paris. Free admission.