SECONDE NATURE and ZINC are digital imagination incubators that have been working for several years towards fostering and promoting contemporary creation, advancing the understanding of the world in the digital age, and helping audiences appropriate technologies to develop their creativity and emancipation.
The two associations organise the Biennale of Digital Imagination, whose third edition will be held from November 10, 2022 to January 23, 2023. After having explored the theme of Levitation during the first edition, then the concept of Eternity, the topic that will be explored is Night in 2022.
There is a guest of honour at each edition of the biennale and, after Quebec in 2018 and Taiwan in 2020, in 2022 we welcome Belgium (Wallonia – Brussels – Flanders).
These foci are the points of departure for new links feeding into an international, ever growing rhizome full of discovery and exchange. To have a guest of honour is to delve into an ecosystem of unknown magnitude, which turns out to be even vaster and more complex than it first seemed. It is a new experience, one to which we contribute by forging relationships moulded by how we feed off each other and by how we differ. This synergy leads us to rethink our methods and to always draw inspiration from one another.
By inviting Belgium (Wallonia – Brussels – Flanders) to draw up the programme together, the Biennale presents a unique opportunity to discover the vitality of these digital art scenes – resolutely dynamic and transdisciplinary, drawing from a culture of plurality and multiplicity to present a whole era – in the south of France.
In total, the international programme will feature 60 or so digital pieces, 16 of which come from the CHRONIQUES CRÉATIONS platform, bringing together 39 regional, national, and international partners. The guests of honour will feature throughout the biennale: in the exhibition hall, on the programme of live shows, and during talks and meetings with our different communities (general public, schools, universities, trade).
Nighttime allows us to detach ourselves from the hegemony of vision and frees the other senses. From our altered perceptions, shadows of animality, the invisible and the magical arise. “When darkness deprives the seers of vision, the vision of the seers begins”, says Jean de Loisy.
It is the time for dreams and nightmares, but also for self-metamorphoses, for the transformation of our bodies, of our identities and of the way we behave.
With this creative power, nights have always been seen as a time to be controlled. We are wary of what they permit, because darkness is fertile. Nighttime is always a beginning and not an end, a transition to a new horizon or a new day.
The appearance of lights in cities was a first milestone in controlling individuals. Little by little, nighttime, especially in urban areas, has been invaded by daytime activities, opposing the city that sleeps to the one that works, the city that wanders to the one that feasts. The title of Guy Debord’s film “In girum imus nocte ecce et consumimur igni”, “We go round in circles at night and we are devoured by fire”, denounces the invasion of streetlights in our public spaces, a metaphor for our consumer society and for alienation.
In fact, it is an ambivalent place which sometimes shows its enlightened side, sometimes its dark side.
This opposition, between a place of transgression and of alienation pushes some to affirm “that we must save the night”, an essay by Samuel Challéat, evoking the city lights which have killed the magic of the night, creating a veil between man and the stars. Does the black of night still exist when confronted with these nocturnal skies alternately yellowed by pollution and reddened by factory fires? Does this veil not become a barrier to our solitary introspections? Can we still dive into our metaphysical reveries?
Time is continuously revolving around economy and networks, computers and algorithms. It is gradually controlling the pace of our lives, no longer leaving any time for rest and freedom. Is technology even interfering with our dreams? Are our inner nights preserved from technology while it prolongs our lives on a daily basis?
These moments of heteropia, of concrete utopias, are perhaps the last frontiers to be explored as terra incognita. Finally, the taste of the night is also a taste of others, of the Other, of meetings and of the unknown, a territory to be preserved. We will see if the night can shed light on another way of being in the world.
As you know, CHRONIQUES, the Biennale of Digital Imagination, has chosen to make a very large part of its programming free of charge, whether for installations in public spaces, exhibitions, workshops or performances.
Do you like or have you liked CHRONIQUES? Would you like to support us? Many small ones make a big one: all your donations will strengthen the quality of our future programming.