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Digitalife 2017
la dispersion du fils
Jean Michel Bruyère with Matthew McGinity, Delphine Varas and Thierry Arredondo
La Dispersion du Fils © LFKs

memorandum or voyage

nstants of Visibility
Ivana Franke - Instants of Visibility

Granular-Synthesis - <360> © Peter Dimakos

Romaeuropa Festival
Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome
7 October 2017 - 7 January 2018


Jean Michel Bruyère / LFKs - La Dispersion du Fils
Ivana Franke - Instants of Visibility
Granular-Synthesis - <360>

Curator: Richard Castelli (Epidemic)


It is difficult to argue that the media arts have already reached maturity, but it is already possible to see here and there not only retrospectives of pioneer works but also rebirths of works, even from emblematic if not legendary repertoires.

Some of them reappear for obvious technical reasons, because most of the great works anticipate their supports more than they follow them and the evolution of the techniques allows them to be more vivid, precise, incisive...

La Dispersion du Fils by Jean Michel Bruyère with Matthew McGinity, Delphine Varas and Thierry Arredondo, and <360> by Granular-Synthesis, the seminal media art duo composed of Kurt Hentschläger and Ulf Langheinrich, are two of these.

La Dispersion du Fils was premiered in 2008 in Shanghai. Since then, several versions have been presented, among others, in Le Havre, Sydney, Hong Kong, Eindhoven, Avignon, again in Shanghai and recently in Chengdu. The final version will be created nine years after the first one, jointly in Rome and at ZKM Karlsruhe. More than 600 films made by Jean Michel Bruyère on the tragedy of Actaeon create an immersive space constantly in explosion/reconstruction, fold/deploy, with each of its cells composed of one of the 22000 sequences in loop drawn from all these films.

Originally conceived by Granular-Synthesis for 16 screens in a circle, <360>, created in Paris in 2002, then presented in Montreal, became a legend because of the lasting impact it had on the happy spectators, as well as its rarity due to the technical and therefore financial complexity of its presentation. Since then, thanks to the AVIE, a 360° 3D device developed by Jeffrey Shaw and the iCinema Center of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, this same AVIE which supports La Dispersion du Fils, the rebirth of <360> became possible in a 3D version too, which was not the case of the original version.

At other times, rebirth takes a completely different path. For Dumb Type's MEMORANDUM OR VOYAGE, Shiro Takatani, its artistic director, created a monumental video (circa 15 m long) that assembles archival videos and contemporary reconstructions of the images used for the last three eponymous shows of the Japanese collective. Each of the three shows inspired a six-minute sequence, which sums it up brilliantly. One finds there, the sleeping bodies bathing in light, of OR, the aerial dissolving maps of Voyage and the hypnotic tracking shots of memorandum where one no longer discerns the false shadows and transparencies of the real ones.

There would be no rebirth in Ivana Franke’s work Instants of Visibility, if it was not the use of old techniques that have little to do with a technological breaking wave, but whose visual result is similar to the immersive or dynamic imagination, which should characterize the digital arts.

As we can see, it required a plural to REBIRTHS.

Richard Castelli