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1992

Le robinet téléphonique

After 1,500 calls, the reservoir will be full and the water will overflow onto the floor, onto the marble slabs of the Antonelliana. The sound will be relayed in real time via the telephone network, depending on the level of water damage...

Communication 

Turin (IT)

Typology: Dispositif

ARS LAB ANTONELLIANA, TURIN, ITALIE. 18/26 AVRIL 1992

Concept

FILL A TANK REMOTELY BY PHONE!

After 1 500 calls, the tank will be full and the water will overflow onto the floor, onto the marble slabs of the Antonelliana. The installation for this exhibition, in which the Chicago Exploratorium is a partner, is an opportunity for the artist to highlight once again the existential changes in our relationship with space as a result of the widespread use of electrical and electronic means of communication. This has led to a new perception and a new representation of space. Since the dawn of time, man has dreamt of going beyond the constraints and limits of his body. The myth of Icarus, like the magic that claims to act at a distance, bears witness to this fundamental desire... Communications technology suddenly allows us to project ourselves through space, to abolish distance and, in a way, to put ourselves in the exceptional conditions of virtual ubiquity. This situation, if perfectly signalled by the installation proposed by the artist, tends to bring its user back to a state of lucidity (of extreme consciousness...) likely to make him or her live this experience, all in all banal, as a moment of emotion that could be overwhelming. Through various texts by Mario Costa, Pierre Moeglin, Derrick de Kherckove and Fred Forest himself, the aesthetics of communication has endeavoured to reflect on this phenomenon and to show the role that the artist has to play in a field that falls directly within the prerogatives that are traditionally his or hers: to give to see, to give to feel, to give to live!
As for the water overflowing from a container that the institution had assigned to the artist's installation, this was a classic invitation to transgression, which unfortunately had no real consequences, since the museum's guards had been specially assigned to bail out the reservoir from a level previously defined in red pencil as a risk zone not to be exceeded under any circumstances!

Device

  • National and international telephone network
  • A solenoid valve, allowing 10 centilitres of liquid to flow with each telephone impulse
  • Telephone impulse triggering the ringing tone
  • A 4/32 section copper tap
  • A 1,500 litre zinc tank
  • A contact microphone
  • An amplifier
  • Connection of the telephone network to the domestic water supply network
  • Catalogue général de l’exposition Ars Lab, Turino, 1992
  • " Remplissez un réservoir par téléphone à distance ", Le Monde, Paris 19/20 avril 1992
  • Radio France Inter, chronique de François Rillin, " On efface tout et on recommence ", 13 avril 1992

LONG BIOGRAPHY OF FRED FOREST

Fred Forest has a special place in contemporary art. Both by his personality and by his pioneering practices which mark his work. He is mainly known today for having used one by one most of the communication media that have appeared over the last fifty years. He is co-founder of three artistic movements: those of sociological art, the aesthetics of communication and ethics in art.

He represented France at the 12th São Paulo Biennale (Communication Prize) in 1973, at the 37th Venice Biennale in 1976 and at Documenta 6 in Kassel in 1977.

EXHIBITION AT THE CENTRE POMPIDOU FROM JANUARY 24 TO JULY 22, 2024

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