CHRISTA SOMMERER (AT)
LAURENT MIGNONNEAU (FR)
PORTRAIT ON THE FLY
JUNE 29 TO AUGUST 05
ARSENAL ART CONTEMPORAIN
BIO - CHRISTA SOMMERER & LAURENT MIGNONNEAU
Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau are internationally renowned media artists, researchers and pioneers of interactive art. They are professors and head the Interface Cultures master program at University of Art and Design in Linz Austria. They previously held positions as Associate Professors at the IAMAS International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences in Gifu, Japan and as Researchers and Artistic Directors at the ATR Media Integration and Communications Research Lab in Kyoto Japan. They were Visiting Researchers at the MIT CAVS in Cambridge US, the Beckmann Institute in Champaign Urbana, IL, USA and artists in residence at the NTT-InterCommunication Center in Tokyo. Sommerer was an Obel Guest Professor at Aalborg University, Denmark and at the Tsukuba University Empowerment Informatics Studio in Japan and Laurent Mignonneau was Chaire Internationale Guest Professor at the Université Paris 8 in Paris, France. Sommerer & Mignonneau have participated in around 250 international exhibitions, and their works can be found in museums and collections around the world. They also received numerous awards: the 2016 ARCO BEEP Award in Madrid Spain, the 2012 Wu Guanzhong Art and Science Innovation Prize of the People’s Republic of China; the 1994 Golden Nica Prix Ars Electronica Award.
The interactive installation consists of a monitor that shows a swarm of a few thousand flies. When a person positions themself in front of the monitor, the insects builds up the contour of the person. They begin to arrange and rearrange themselves continuously, thereby creating a recognizable likeness of the individual. Posing in front of the monitor attracts the flies. Within seconds they invade the face, but even the slightest movement of the head or of parts of the face drives them off. The portraits are thus in constant flux, they construct and deconstruct. Portrait on the Fly is a commentary on our love for making pictures of ourselves (Selfie-Culture), it has to do with change, transience and impermanence.