NOTE ON THE ACTIVITIES OF FRED FOREST
Fred FOREST is always situated
to the outposts of the contemporary creation with an artistic
practice in continual evolution. After having been painter
and drawer of press to the newspapers "Combat" and "Les Échos",
he devotes himself to research raising of the new technological
media. Pioneer of the video art in the years 1968, he is the
first artist to create in France, at this time, "interactive
environment". He innovates again in pioneer while conceiving
different shapes of "experience of press" of symbolic and
critical reach. One remembers his "white space" in Le Monde
newspaper in 1972 and his noteworthy media operation of the
artistic square meter... In 1973 he achieves several spectacular
actions in the setting of the São Paulo Biennial where
he received the Price of the communication and... his arrest
by the military regime. In his artistic practice, always in
pioneer, he uses: the telephone, the video, the radio, the
television, the cable, the computer, the luminous newspapers
to electronic diodes, the robotics, the networks telematics...
Concerning the networks he will be again there, the first,
with the experimental network of Vélizy.
Co-creator of the Collective
of Sociological Art in 1974, he sustains in 1984 at the Sorbonne
a thesis of State Doctorate on the Aesthetics of the communication.
With Mario Costa, titular of the Pulpit of Aesthetics at the
University of Salerne and Derrick of Kerckhove, director of
the Marshall Mc Luhan Program of the University of Toronto,
he creates an International Research Group, to which participate
Roy Ascott, David Rokeby, Norman White...
He taught the video at The
National School of Art at Cergy, and has been named titular
of the "Pulpit of the Sciences of Information and Communication"
at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, where since he
directs to the Museum Modern Art and Contemporary Art a seminary
of international reputation. He represented France to the
Biennial of Venice and to Documenta of Kassel. He achieved
numerous experimental broadcasts to the radio and the TV,
notably on the Belgian, Swiss, Italian, Israelian, Brazilian,
and French national channels. In 1991 the strengths of opposition
in Bulgaria sustains its candidacy for President of the national
TV on a project of interactive television and... utopian.
"The electronic Bible", the "Watchtowers of the Peace" that
he implants to the border of the former Yugoslavia, his multimedia
action, "From Locarno to Casablanca, love reviewed and corrected
by Internet", are as much spectacular actions, that constitute
symbolic devices, "works" of our time, that will have a considerable
media impact, demonstrating that today the art is not only
an affair of museum, market and elitist public!
The work that this artist achieves
constitutes a reflection on the communication itself, its
codes, its diversion, its ideological, symbolic and aesthetic
foundations. In a historic situation of rupture, without precedent,
Fred Forest affirms: "Today, it's necessary to invent other
shapes of art, and not to repeat models of the past, obsolete".
The role of the artist being, on one hand, to put in sensitive
"evidence" how the practice generalized of the communication
and networks interacts on the whole of our systems of perception,
of representation, our imaginary and, on other hand, to place
us in situation to experiment this new environment, designated
by the name of: CYBERSPACE.
Otherwise, he always insists
on the function of "awaker" of the artist, that is there,
today as yesterday, to make sense, to ask the fundamental
questions and to introduce a certain "spiritual" dimension,
"without which" the promised life would be only theater of
shades, in a laboratory populated... with electronic gadgets".