We are happy to inform you that we won two important art prizes as part of the AIA Gallery Awards in South Korea. To our knowledge, these awards are the very first gathering artists working with AI. On the Main Award, we won the 3rd prize for Brightly-Lit Stool, Four-eyed Cat, AV-2020-U-70 (image above), a painting derived from a GAN generation.
« The Bronze Prize is awarded to Aurèce Vettier’s . In this work, daily life is re-viewed with a new perspective, and the mathematical process occurring in virtual space expands to reality. » AIA Gallery announcement
On the Special Award, we won the Excellence Prize for We Will Make You Bow To The Delicate, a sandstone sculpture with engravings using a GAN-generated Alphabet.
« This work gave AI a new role in creating new alphabets from old herbarium and it is quite a novel approach as an AI artwork. In addition, the concept of ‘Latent Botanist’ and the way it is expressed, attract interest and attention as a highly complete work. »
AIA Gallery announcement
The Seventh Face
a text by Amandine Roggeman, contemporary art curator (FR)
aurèce vettier’s work aims to reinvent and reread our daily environment, creating new alphabets to unravel every dimension of it. Layer after layer, the viewer gets the opportunity to understand the human vision is structured through a process of infinite juxtapositions. Unity is a construction; one face can only result from the addition of numerous faces, and AI has proved to be a very playful tool to do so.
In this attempt to build a new vocabulary with the help of technological means, aurèce vettier provides continuity with the Dada and Surrealist’s project: in 1936, French artist and author Georges Hugnet published a collection of his “Poems-Découpages” named The Seventh Face of the Die(1) and illustrated by Marcel Duchamp.
As in the concept of “impossible objects”(2) theorized by Lionel and Roger Penrose, image and poetry are assembled in order to create a special type of illusion and to generate new perceptual interpretations. You could easily understand and admit that a dice is made of six distinct faces, each of them having a proper number and existence (from 1 to 6), but the idea of a seventh face that encompasses all the others and opens new possibilities and dimensions is exactly what motivates aurèce vettier’s research.
In the piece Brightly-Lit Stool, Four-eyed Cat, the non-identified animal, standing there and staring at the audience, is the “seventh face”, if not the thousandth according to Playform software. The choice of a very objective and neutral title -actually a tribute to Beuys’ Brightly-Lit Stag Chair (1957-71), that seems to depict a common still-life painting is also confusing and and tends to question the way we describe things. Putting labels and words on things is mostly a human need to appropriate and dominate what surround us. The artist argues here that we should not be so affirmative, but pay more attention to the complexity of things. To grasp the world, even when this “world” is summed up in a few familiar items -a stool, a cat, daily light-, is not as easy or immediate.
“ Living is not about trying to best replicate a mirror’s gestures
Images are not far enough
Any commentary should be given up, all that was learnt once should be unlearnt, living the unbelievable should be the only way so we can live again. ”(1)
The dice’s image also conveys a notion of chance and unpredictability. Hugnet’s work claims this paternity within his work: art is the result of a gambling. Somehow, GAN-generated images are a modern way to keep playing with the real, like dreams’ interpretation once was for the Surrealists. Using this technology, aurèce vettier looks for the accident and even consciously provokes it, wondering how the machine will recognize the colours, the shapes, and elaborate its own interpretation from a series of visual clues.
Nonetheless, the artist is the one and only creator; the algorithm gets trained with chosen parts of the real, and the final work is picked up among thousands of images and materialized by the human hand on a canvas. The artist is taming the real through the machine, with no reason to envy the mathematician. Being influenced with both aesthetic and mathematics, aurèce vettier draws this very subtle frontier between different sensible approaches and universes, leaving a space for chance to express itself and initiate new rules. To decipher such reality, you also need a good dose humour.
Why portraying a cat in the first place? Not only did aurèce vettier photographed the well-named Kotek for hours, but also did he ordered a 120cm by 95cm painting of his furry model, dimensions that used to be the privilege of the Court and Royals. For a long time, portrait was indeed one the noblest forms of art in the academic hierarchy; with a subjacent irony and a taste for comic, the artist twists these historical codes and reveals to the world the face of… his cat. Greek mythology had the “third eye”, aurèce vettier has a “four-eye cat” to help him perceive the multidimensionality of things.
(1) Hugnet G. (1936). The seventh face of the die. Poèmes-Découpages, illustrated by Marcel Duchamp, Paris, published by Jeanne Bucher.
(2) Penrose, L. S. & R. (1958). Impossible objects: A special type of visual illusion. British Journal of Psychology.
For one evening, we were invited in the Subaru10K artist-run space for a poetry performance celebrating our participation to the second issue of Revue Diorama. Using poetry raw materials generated by our Markov-chain algorithms, we created multiple shorts poems and offered them to the visitors passing by.
« In Paris, a new collective of artists which operates as a research group is exploring curation and the relationships between non-correlated artists, periods and works in a dynamic, shifting exhibition high above the Paris suburbs. Under the new umbrella La Méditerranée, Edgard Sarin, Mateo Revillo and Ulysse Geissler have joined forces to present Programme Spécial, their inaugural exhibition at POUSH – a temporary artist incubator by the art consulting agency Manifesto that has played host to over 170 artists since taking over a soon-to-be-destroyed 70s office building in the Paris suburb of Clichy.
Programme Spécial is a complex yet organic marriage that embodies La Méditerranée’s philosophy as a collective. The curation of 18 artists – which includes contemporary works of artist duo Aurèce Vettier (Paul Mouginot and Anis Gandoura), Edgar Sarin, Bianca Bondi, Mateo Revillo, Apollinaria Broche and Alex Ayed as well as pieces by modern and classical masters – explores the synergies between diverse bodies of work, calling upon the principle of bon voisinage, a concept first introduced by German art historian Aby Warburg (1866-1929) which encourages new relationships between surrounding objects as a result of proximity. »
(…) La Méditerranée describes itself as a multi-faceted, ever-evolving artist collective united by a ‘Mediterranean’ vision of the world: to consider the world as a coherent, harmonious whole made of different entities, an idea truly embodied by the geographical layout and the proximity of the Mediterranean countries.
“Rather than thinking of the world as an illusion diverting us from what’s essential, or an absurd entity we must rationalise, we see the world as a potential mine of infinite beauty”, explains Paul Mouginot, one half of Aurèce Vettier. “At La Méditerranée, we use our rebellious spirit to grasp what is precious in a constant search for balance”, he adds.
Image : Après Ravenne 5.3, Oil pastel on paper, 42 cm x 29,7 cm, AV-2020-U-4
For its part, Aurèce Vettier explores the connections created by the combination of technology and the human touch. “Our work is attempting to create sincere collaboration between human and machine in order to find new paths of creation”, Mouginot explains. In 2016, the duo co-founded daco, a start-up specialising in strategy consulting using their own AI image recognition tool for brands in the fashion and luxury industries. Considering computer and handcraft to be equal partners in its artistic process, some of their standout works include Elegia Machina, a collection of poems generated through the Markov chains algorithm, or Colorimeters (After Ravenne), a series of oil pastel drawings which unique forms and colors are the result of artificial intelligence (the latter is presented in Programme Spécial).
“Everyday, the pieces are moved, recomposed, reassembled, switched or even isolated”, explains Mouginot of the curators’ decision to continually adapt the exhibition, moving artworks through its different rooms over time. “It creates heuristic moments and allows to find a new balance between the works of contemporary artists and those of legends like Goya, Yves Klein, Danh Vo, Anna-Eva Bergman or Joseph Beuys”.
The exclusive edition proposed for Cueva Gallery is called A Rebours as a tribute to the famous novel published in 1884 by Joris-Karl Huysmans. This literary landmark, which title is sometimes interestingly translated in English as « Against Nature », depicts the existence of Jean des Esseintes, an aristocratic aesthete living the « mal du siècle » and attempting to assemble the ideal library. Using white oil pastel, Aurèce Vettier accelerates the unavoidable end of an imaginary plant, and arbitrarily decomposes the vanishing process in five steps.
Each edition is unique as it is retouched in oil pastel, numbered, signed and framed in a natural oak box by the artist. This piece will never be edited again.
A Rebours I, AV-2020-M-1, Inkjet Print and oil pastel on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta Paper, 30x40cm, Oak wood frame, Edition of 10 + 4 AP, Cueva Gallery
A Rebours II, AV-2020-M-2, Inkjet Print and oil pastel on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta Paper, 30x40cm, Oak wood frame, Edition of 10 + 4 AP, Cueva Gallery
A Rebours III, AV-2020-M-3, Inkjet Print and oil pastel on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta Paper, 30x40cm, Oak wood frame, Edition of 10 + 4 AP, Cueva Gallery
A Rebours IV, AV-2020-M-4, Inkjet Print and oil pastel on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta Paper, 30x40cm, Oak wood frame, Edition of 10 + 4 AP, Cueva Gallery
A Rebours V, AV-2020-M-5, Inkjet Print and oil pastel on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta Paper, 30x40cm, Oak wood frame, Edition of 10 + 4 AP, Cueva Gallery