1% or the invisible art…

« For more than 60 years, the “artistic 1%” has made it possible to devote 1% of the cost of work on certain public buildings to the creation or acquisition of works of contemporary art, to be exhibited in the buildings of the structure that financed it. »

Each of us remembers the concretion of metal and tiles that stood proudly at the entrance to our former schools. Eclipsed, like its artist by the architecture of the place, quickly inaugurated and quickly forgotten. The ravages of the passage of time proved it wrong, this oxidized statue with its toothless mosaic, graffitied, or rather branded by the committed art of our tormented teenagers.

Our 1% was meant to be more ambitious. Invisible emerged from the invisible! It strove after the ideal and disinterested expression of beauty through number-related techniques. Interesting! Digital language as a material of language. The relationship between Art and Mathematics is a very old idea. After all, wouldn’t numbers be the very origin of universal creation?

Digital technology is one of the helix of the DNA of the Pierre Emmanuel College. We, the crew of this initial adventure, had quite naturally associated the CUMAMOVI* with the genesis of our educational project by trying to answer the twofold issue: how to give all the high school students we would welcome access to the digital world and gradually get them to enter the learning process through artistic creation? Of course, our ambition was to modernize our didactic contents while strengthening community bonds, and encouraging students to be actors of their schooling. To ensure that they are open to the world, to promote access to knowledge by developing their critical thinking skills, to help them build their citizenship, to prepare them to enter the professional world under the best conditions. For some, to get them out of their statistical destiny… AND TO ALLOW THEM TO DREAM!

Let us now turn to our winners of the competition for the famous 1%: “Jean Paul Labro, Lyn Nékorimaté and their 8 compadres”. The artists of the DING collective, ”the madmen” to name them affectionately, came in by break-in; not as thieves, but rather as witches. thaumaturges. They had nothing to show because digital art is not shown, it is discovered virtually. It brings a new way of being of the work, whose state of completion has yet to be developed, a “work in progress”. The digital work does not exist but when it takes shape, it remains immaterial and in perpetual evolution.

The collective’s mission was therefore to bring contemporary art into the Pierre Emmanuel high school through digital innovation, thus adhering to our educational and pedagogical project. For two years, the madmen, with the cooperation of our high school students and the complicity of the teaching teams, designed a joint artistic and cultural education project whose ultimate objective was to build an invisible but very lively work: the Ipotêtu Museum. Thus, we have seen the students, sometimes the most resistant to school, cling to the wagons of knowledge, put themselves at the service of the project, from its conception to its realization. We have seen the most intrepid as well as the most timid knead matter, capture images of the city, embody the museum’s guardian spectra, dance above the world. We saw them… MANUFACTURE EMOTION!


A brief look back to the future: I remember, I was a very young high school student at Pierre Emmanuel when the artists arrived with funny machines. We started a series of creative workshops in which we learned how to create digital images and sound sequences. But above all…

In an atmosphere of mad scientists, we invoked the gods, used chemistry and sound vibrations to sculpt landscapes and tame noises, woke up the ghosts of paradise who had come to haunt the virtual space of our college. We were invited to write gestures and film movements, to garden under the musical greenhouse. We sailed through the Great Sphere, an animated sculpture that sits in the centre of the courtyard and contains all the objects of our intimate student universe. Erected ice columns erected in the city like monoliths, remnants of a civilization of which no one knows anything about the ephemeral memory it delivers to us. Stretched out lines between two blocks, two territories, tightrope walkers caught between doubt, hesitation and then fear, which leads to daring, this path to cross, leading to knowledge, first of all of oneself and then of the world, to better understand it. Listened to the resonance of our steps to better synchronize them with those of the Other, the one we have chosen to follow as you will follow us.

May you get lost in the corridors of the Ipotêtu Museum…

Nor Eddine Boudjedia

*Cooperative for the Use of Video Editing Equipment