reviewing ART ORIENTE objet (AOo)

"Live in Boston"
Galerie Des Archives
open from 1-11-97 to 2-28-97
4, Impasse Beaubourg
75003 Paris FRANCE

Bio-technology in the Gallerie:

"Sur les reseaux des computers, I'effet negatif des virus passe encore
plus vite que l'effet positif de l'information. Or le virus est lui-meme
une information. S'il passe mieux que les autres, c'est que,
biologiquement parlant, il est a la fois le medium et le message. Il
realise cette forme ultra-moderne de la communication selon MacLuhan, ou
l'information n'est pas differente de son support mediatique." -
Baudrillard in "Cool Memories"

For well over a decade social theory has been speculating in regard to
bio-technological mutations. In the abundant anthropomorphic
elucidations that are emerging out of post-industrial techno-culture,
the biologicalization of technology, via computer viruses for example,
and the technologicalization of biology, as ART ORIENTE objet (AOo)
aptly demonstrate in this exhibition, are some of the most stimulating
artistic metaphors, seems to me.

In Norbert Wiener's "Animal and Machine" written in 1948 and then again
in his remarkable paper "The Human Use of Human Beings" from the year
1950, the flight of fancy implied in bio-technological development has
been one of an increasing possibility of completing an interface in
which the mechanical device becomes extended biological skin. In the
years following his theorization of bio-technology, this prospect of
creating an alliance between biology and technology has become both
feasible and, perhaps sardonically, advantageous, if one ignores the
buried ethical concerns. As technological instrumentilization continues
to mutate into the biosphere, the reflective significance of technology
in relationship to the human skin is stirring artists to mentally
copulate with more than mere hypothetical circumstances, but to some
extent presuppose the materiality of reprogrammed and amended existence,
perhaps to an extent interchangeable with a degree of fanciful
extravagance. […] The biologicalization of technology and the
molecularization of means through neuroelectric gene therapy and
molecular electronics has, it seems, recently been manufacturing an
actual post-industrial mode of the mutating and growing human skin as
ART ORIENTE objet (AOo) demonstrates here in their exhibition and, not
surprisingly, mutating our epistemology along the merry way.


Here in the installation called "Live in Boston" presented at the
Galerie Des Archives in Paris, skin samples have been realized from
bio-cultures breeded from the cells of the two artists who make up ART
ORIENTE objet (AOo), a man and a woman, in an abnormal desire to
exchange skin with each other. These two artists who work
collaboratively under the name of ART ORIENTE objet (AOo), slipped into
this skin exchange fantasy by taking pictures of themselves in a process
of transmission of skins "tattooed" with transferable patterns used as
sketches by tattoo makers. (see attached image) The animal's image is
reduced to a sort of advertising logo, easy to wear, easy to take off,
which symbolizes the cynical attitude of man towards the animal,
granting its survival only through his demiurgic will. Patches of their
skin were breeded at a University lab in Boston and then these patches
were tattooed with images of animals by a professional tattoo artist and
exhibited in jars of preservative liquid. A video taped interview by a
clinical doctor involved in the skin breeding procedure also
complimented the installation along with a curious doll house which
seemed to house strange and freaky toy mutational combinations.

In 1991, Ms. Laval-Jeantet and Mr. Mangin created the duo ART ORIENTE
objet (AOo) in Paris and in accordance to AOo's indication, the meaning
of ART ORIENTE objet (AOo) is "art objects oriented" but which can also
be read as "art oriented by objects". Their work, they claim, can be
explained in terms of Wittgenstein's insistence on the importance of
sustaining the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. In order to
realize this premise, ART ORIENTE objet (AOo) investigates and explores
the inter-related fields of science and art.


ART ORIENTE objet (AOo) (