PARIS.- All Over is a piece of Internet art involving a series of images formed uniquely out of typographic characters, in the manner of ASCII art, made using the display techniques of the first computers. Here, however, the figures and letters composing the images are dynamic and keep changing: they are generated in real time by the fluxes on stock exchanges around the world. Originating in fixed photographs, these transformed images are thus dependent on financial movements, which both feed and disrupt them at the same time. Destabilized by their system of representation, their meaning too becomes unstable. These pictures without captions seem to be constantly struggling for their visibility and their uncertain reality: demonstration, traders, supporters, a religious or political rally?
Indeed, what and where exactly are the subjects here? Are they the visible but static actors, or the ones at the origin of the movement animating these figures? In spite of those figures? In spite of themselves? Caught between two regimes of representation, the image has one foot in reification and the other in the reality to which it remains attached. Its indexical value has to do as much with the stock exchange data and the forces behind them as it does with the original photograph. Indexed to a past reality and at the same time to a present activity, and to actions that surpass it, the representation is more than an image; it is a theatre of operations, the arena of combat between the productive forces to which the image gives form and from which it derives.
Whereas in most of Samuel Bianchinis works, these operations are shared with the public, here it is activity on a very different scale that is brought into play: that of networks, the financial movements initiated by great numbers of actors all over the globe. Here the all-over goes beyond the surface of the image or the studio and connects with planetary networks. At the same time, it is the sign of an infiltration into the depths of the image, where each of its tiniest elements has the potential to be indexed and controlled, like a real-time molecular montage producing images that themselves, likewise, tend to become pervasive. At once macro and micro, as much part of a global process as it is a reified local representation, a mixture of technology and aesthetics, "All Over" brings together worlds and dimensions that could well be set to become increasingly connected. Short-circuiting flows and images in keeping with what is a very topical, problematic process, this project was specially devised for the Jeu de Paume Internet programme.
By playing on a radical conflation of the digital and the monetary, in "All Over" Samuel Bianchini extends the idea behind some of his earlier works, in which he began to juxtapose modes of representation with a bean-counting, quantifying and financial logic, one that is becoming increasingly pervasive in todays world. For example, his Internet project "If I Were U - Une économie du regard" (since 1999) has led him to invent a currency that relates to the measurement of gazes, the Pov. More recently, anticipating the financial crisis, he created an interactive installation for the 2008 Biennale de Rennes, Valeurs croisées (Value for Value), which integrated the quantification of visitors actions and attitudes into a wall of distance counters, questioning the assimilation of ethical value to financial value.
Samuel Bianchini lives and works in Paris. His works are regularly exhibited in "France and abroad: Thessaloniki Biennial and Rencontres Chorégraphiques de Carthage" (both 2009), "Centre pour l'Image de Genève, Biennale de Rennes" (both 2008), "La Ménagerie de Verre" (Paris), "space_imA et Duck-Won Gallery, Seoul, Nuit Blanche in Paris", (2005), Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Ateneo de Yucatán in Mexico City, Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Paris, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM), Karlsruhe, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Villa Arson (Nice), etc.
His art is concerned with the impact of technology on our modes of representation, new forms of aesthetic experience and sociopolitical organization, and in his research he collaborates with scientists and engineering research laboratories, notably Limsi-CNRS (Laboratory of Mechanics and Engineering Sciences, Orsay), Orange Labs, IEMN (Institute of Electronics, Microelectronics and Nanotechnology, Lille-Valenciennes), IETR (Rennes Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications), Liris (Laboratory of Image and Information Systems Computing, Lyon), LIFL (Lille Laboratory of Fundamental Computing).
In close relation to his artistic practice, Samuel Bianchini is engaged in theoretical work, the results of which have been published, notably by Les Éditions du Centre Pompidou, Éditions Jean-Michel Place, MIT Press, Analogues, Hermes, Les presses du réel, etc.
Born in Nancy in 1971, Samuel Bianchini studied art in a variety of forms and contexts: fine arts (post-diploma course, École Régionale des Beaux-Arts de Nantes), decorative arts (Ensad, École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris), applied arts (Ensaama, École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et des Métiers d'Art, Paris), arts and trades (Centre National des Arts et Métiers, Paris) and visual arts (Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne).
He obtained his doctorate with a solo exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo and is now in the teams at two research laboratories, Calhiste (Université de Valenciennes) and Lam/Citu (Art and Media Laboratory, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne / University Transdiciplinary Interactive Art Laboratory, a federation of research laboratotories at Paris 1 and Paris 8 universities). He is a researcher and teacher at the Université de Valenciennes, the École Nationale Supérieure d'Art de Nancy and EnsadLab, the research laboratory of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (Paris). He is the scientific director and coordinator of Praticables. Dispositifs artistiques : les mises en uvre du spectateur, a project supported by the French National Research Agency.