Fred Forest - Retrospective
Sociologic art - Aesthetic of communication
Exhibition Generative art - November, 2000
Exhibition Biennale 3000 - Sao Paulo - 2006
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Louis-José Lestocart English version
Louis-José Lestocart : l'oeuvre-système invisible ou l'O-S-I English version
Vinton Cerf English version
Priscila Arantes Curator of the exhibiton "Retrospective au Paço das Artes" English version
Michaël F Leruth English version
Evelyne Rogue French version
Annick Bureaud English version
Mario Costa English version
Jean Devèze English version
Vilem Flusser English version
Derrick de Kerckhove English version
Pierre Lévy English version
Marshall McLuhan English version
Pierre Moeglin English version
Frank Popper English version
François Rabate English version
Pierre Restany English version
Pierre Restany English version
Pierre Restany English version
Edgar Morin English version
Harald Szeemann English version
Sophie Lavaud English version
1 - Synthetisis note on the activities of Fred Forest
2 - Manifests Sociological Art (1974) and Aesthetics of the Communication (1983)
3 - The Aesthetics of the Communication by Fred Forest (1983)
4 - For an Aesthetics of Communication - Fred Forest
5 - The Video family by Fred Forest (1976)
6 - Learn to watch TV through the radio by Fred Forest and Pierre Moeglin (1984)   
7 - Why present his candidacy for President of the Bulgarian TV by Fred Forest (1991)


The concept of center of the world at Fred Forest

PIERRE RESTANY (Paris, September 1999)

How to speak of "Center of the World" in the art of today? Unless to hold to a Truism: "in the hypertrophied artist's ego, the art was always the center of the worldÖ" In fact the major problem of the art that was always the one of the communication, has been solved in a definitive way through the irresistible dynamic of the new technologies of information. Becoming naturally liberated from the traditional supports, the art became the great humanist vector of the communication, so much visual that audiovisual. One tried a long time to assign the crisis of the painting to the one of the picture painted. The problem puts itself to the level of the oil painting and shade into it. The digital or electronic picture is in perfect health. It perfectly describes the world of the year 2000 as the fresco represented perfectly the world of 1400, oil on canvas the world of 1600, the impressionist photograph the world of the second half of the XIXth century.

The extraordinary vitality of the digitized picture or of the one that appears in a CD-ROM, a sequence video or an Internet site, is due to its perfect adequacy to the specificity of its organic support. The picture video, the photogram of the CD-ROM, the digital print perfectly adheres to their support and to its communicational facility. The process is perfectly homogeneous some either the place of its stake of work. When one thought once to the center of the world of the art, one thought right to the place where manufactured the most beautiful pictures. Today the beautiful pictures occur everywhere and their potential of interactive auto-transmission is without limit. The bad pictures are those that don't communicate, those that the scanner badly defines or those that badly pass on the Web. The aesthetic criteria is bound henceforth implacably to the good transmission of the message. The art that doesn't communicate is not the art. Before this ethic-aesthetic normalization of the global culture, the concept of aesthetics of the communication dons all its size. The art that doesn't communicate is not anymore the art. It is necessary to trust the pioneer poet of the communication as Fred Forest so that is preserved all along their strategy interrogative, the presence of the individual humanist values on which founds the creative and poetic vein of our global culture. What is in reason today in the domains that were open to us by the state-of-the-art technology these are not the phenomena of appropriation of the real but the specific value of the individual situations that are immediately transmitted. The electronic image of the television is capable to make enter us in an original and specific space-time fragment in relation to the near visual potentialities, neighbors or nearly analogous of the photograph or the movie. The digital painting familiarizes us with an approach at a time direct and synthetic of the real to a sensation of identity that is the expression of an analogical approximation. In any way, we donít have the feeling that the visual information that is proposed to us is more poor or weaker than the one of an original that would be fixed to the oil painting on a canvas or reproduced photo-mechanically on a postcard format.

The operational strategies of the sociological art or the aesthetics of the communication are at the origin of a set of pictures that seizes us and conquer us by the sensation of presenting truth that they inspire to us. The criteria of the taste change and influence in a definitive manner our emotional and receptive power. We pass from the beautiful to the truth and this decisive criteria doesn't refer anymore to an ideal of beauty that would be defined peremptorily by the "Center of the World" but to a positive report and presenting a truth that we discern as universally diffuse in our experience of the daily. Events, video installations, performances are produced indistinctly today, without impact of quality or hierarchical priority, to New York as in Kuala Lumpur, in Paris or London as in Dakar or The Havana. Within this global Esperanto, we recognize neither center nor periphery but the emergence of a vital impulse, rich in kilowatt-hours of spontaneous poetry, and that testifies the totality of a desire of interactive expression. The Center of the World is thus everywhere and nowhere, it is through the impulses of this chaotic jumble that the Man must assume the integrity and the uniqueness of his being's.

In this totality deprived of center, the Man must more than ever "be there".

Heidegger was right when he worried about the destiny of the art in our industrial society. If he was even living, he would not certainly believe in the Center of the World and he would have looked in the aesthetics of the communication for a key of reading (and of hope) of the chaotic jumble of our totality.

Pierre Restany

This text has been published at the occasion of the presentation of the "Center of the World", Internet interactive installation in Espace Pierre Cardin, in Paris, in September


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