PANEL DISCUSSION WITH FABIEN ZOCCO ABOUT HIS EXHIBITION DIALOGUES MACHINES
2019 talk with Fabien Zocco, Espace Croisé, Condition Publique, Roubaix
The exhibition Dialogues Machines was created around the presentation of the film Attack The Sun co-directed by Fabien Zocco and Gwendal Sartre and co-produced by the Espace Croisé. This exhibition was the first diffusion of this movie. In this context, the Espace Croisé proposed to the artist to create an exhibition of several of his works dealing with the same theme as the film: machine dialogue.
The film retraces the drift of the Californian youtuber Steven Moran who, sinking into madness, commits a shooting. The peculiarity of the film is that all the dialogue was generated by a neural network during the shooting and provided to the actors by earphone. The movie is built on this actor-program relationship which becomes a third director, regulating the actors' movements and dialogs. The character thus always seems to float in a heavy hesitation, looking at his life in the mirror on the screen of his smartphone and staging his every gesture. All his relations and his relationship to the world are built in this relationship to the image.
Around this theme, the exhibition presented a series of works, several of which show programs in dialogue with each other (Zeitgeist, 2018, Ping Pong Stories, 2018, Conversation agent conversation, 2012). We could also see the installation From the Sky to the Earth (2014), which freezes the name of a star from a database and shows us a place visible in Google Street View that bears the name of this star, thus making the link between the human naming of elements and their historical relationship. The last work presented was Black Box (2017), composed of four black boxes placed on the ground and capable of minimal movement in a loop.
It is in the context of Fabien Zocco's work, which I am analysing in my doctoral thesis, that the Espace Croisé and the artist invited me to come and talk to them during a round table discussion on the evening of the opening. The discussion thus focused on this particular relationship to language as a distinctive relational form of the human here reused by the artist's programs. The latter enter into a use that is both mimetic of language (by copying it, at least partially, for example) and that allows new ways of using it, of deforming it, of creating meaning from words.