Ekphrastic Objects is a performance in the format of a traditional lecture, a scholarly discourse accompanied by projected text and images. It is presented during colloquiums and conferences, but also within film programs, spoken word festivals, and at the margins of exhibitions. It both adopts and circumvents the conventions and sets of expectations inherent in what has become a standardized model for the transmission of knowledge.
The talk is structured around the encounter between Jacques-Mandé Daguerre and Samuel Morse in Paris in 1839 during which they share with one another the analogical and proto-digital inventions for which they are known. The allegorical evocation of these private demonstrations sets the stage for a wide variety of questions concerning realist description, translation, verbal representation of visual forms (ekphrasis), and the relationship between 'natural' and formal languages among other things.
Each utterance is processed through a computer program, then visualized and projected as moving text in a virtual space. As these texts accumulate, they give a visible and material form, an externalized memory to the entire corpus of spoken statements. The program itself has an entropic propensity toward error, noise and miscommunication problematizing the highly descriptive emphasis of the talk. Within this context, voice is experienced as a performative event, a speech act both declaring visible 'truths' and at the same time struggling to control meaning and maintain order. During this process, a gap is opened between what is said and read, heard and seen, within which the materiality of language is experienced as a malleable substance experimented in real time.
Custom software (Java / Processing / OpenGL / Stanford Parser & Named Entity Recognizer), Full HD video projector, USB microphone
- Presented during the symposium Photographie et technologies de l’information, Université de Lausanne, Invitation - Estelle Blaschke, Olivier Lugon and Davide Nerini, 2017
- Cneai=, an evening of performances with Mark Geffriaud and Nicholas Knight + Valentina Traïanova, Pantin, 2017
- Emily Harvey Foundation, an evening of performances/publications (A Constructed World, Mark Geffriaud, Nicholas Knight and Sébastien Pluot) during the exhibition The House of Dust by Alison Knowles, Curators - Maud Jacquin, and Sébastien Pluot, New York, 2016
- Archéologies des média, colloquium, École normale supérieure, Lyon, 2014
- Voice ~ Creature of Transition, Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, 2014
- Dutch Art Institute, Arnhem, 2014
- Le Cinématographe, Nantes, 2013
- Otis School of Art and Design, Los Angeles, 2012
- University of Washington, Seattle, 2012
- Ecole des Beaux Arts de Rennes, Rennes, 2010
- Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Autour de Samuel Morse - Reproduction et Transport, colloquium, Paris, 2010
- Khiasma, Relectures festival, Les Lilas, 2009
- La Société française de photographie, monthly conferences, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, 2008
- Mire, Potlatch festival, Nantes, 2008
- Centre Pompidou, Film & co, Paris, 2007
- Université Rennes 2 Haute-Bretagne Something between... Images fixes / images mobile dans les pratiques artistiques contemporaines, colloquium, Rennes, 2007
- La Maison Rouge during Ann Hamilton's exhibition, Phora, Paris, 2005
- ENSCI/Les Ateliers, Extensions, Paris, 2005
- La Filature - Scène Nationale, Mulhouse, 2004