[Overview] [Presentations] [Workshops] [Art Events]
28th International Symposium on Electronic Art [ISEA2023]
Paris, France, May16 – 21, 2023.
Organised by Le Cube Garges, Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs and Forum des Images.
The academic part of ISEA2023 was held at the Forum des Images in the Paris city centre. Exhibitions were held at many locations, including the Forum des Images and The Cube Garges, and many galeries and venues spread over Paris and even outside Paris. Performances took place at The Cube Garges and La Station Gare de Mines.
- Le Cube Garges, executive producer. https://www.lecubegarges.fr
- Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs, academic supervision. https://www.ensad.fr
- Forum des Images, Symposium venue. https://www.forumdesimages.fr/english-contents/forum-des-images
The objective of ISEA2023 SYMBIOSIS is not limited to the event itself; it is a step towards structuring the field on a territorial scale, which will produce similar effects in ISEA95 in Montreal: the arts and digital culture scene is now recognised throughout the world (the Hexagram network associating Concordia University and UQÀM, right up to Ubisoft, stems from this structuring effect) *) The next step is to consolidate this ecosystem, in which all the players have solid international (European and foreign) networks, thus continuing the efforts of 2023.
Note from the editors of the ISEA Symposium Archives: Not to forget the Societé des Arts Electronique (SAT) and MUTEK, both initiated by the ISEA95 organisers!
ISEA2023 In Numbers
- 1400 Applications received to Call for Papers & Participation
- 70 Applicant countries
- 400 Artists, researchers and experts
- 250 Sessions at the Symposium
- 50 Cultural partner venues
- 80 Selected artists
ISEA2023 Augmented Catalogue: https://bit.ly/isea-agora
ISEA2022 Online Teaser
ISEA2022 After movie
Introductory Notes, Closing Events
- Claude Farge, Nils Aziosmanoff, Michèle Boisvert, Emmanuel Tibloux, Emmanuel Mahé, Nadine Naas, Marie Stéphane Maradeix, Klaus Fruchtnis & Roger Malina — Introduction by the organizing institutions and major partners.
- Emmanuel Mahé, Elena Papadaki, Maria Ptqk, François-Joseph Lapointe & Klio Krajewska — Symposium Introduction: Symbiosis
- Christopher Miles — Introduction to the Programme/Book of Abstracts/Catalogue
- Michèle Boisvert — Introduction to the Programme/Book of Abstracts/Catalogue
- Nils Aziosmanoff — Welcome to ISEA2023!
- Emmanuel Mahé & Emmanuel Tibloux — ISEA2023 is a Collective Manifesto
- Claude Farge & Michele Ziegler — The Forum des Images Welcomes ISEA2023
- ISEA International — Celebrating ISEA’s Return to Paris
The theme of this edition is Symbiosis. In this time of global health, ecological, economic and democratic crisis, symbiosis is a polysemous notion that allows us to explore in a transversal and interdisciplinary way the mutations and transformations underway in the digital age, to question the meaning supposedly given to progress, especially in the current environmental
and health context, and to imagine possible and viable futures for our planet and our ecosystems.
Symbiosis is essential to life. No living species can survive without cooperation, let alone humans with each other and with their environments. More than a simple coexistence, symbiosis induces interdependence. It can be positive, neutral and sometimes negative in
certain cases of parasitism. From these interrelations can emerge new hybrid entities, like the lichen which is a compound of algae and fungi. The first providing photosynthesis and the second moisture, one benefits from the contribution of the other. Our becoming-lichen
would be in a way the cross-cutting question underlying the symposium.
Understood in a broad acceptance, the symbiosis is also played out at the scale of the symposium: it is a transdisciplinary event between creation and research (visual arts, theater, music, design, cinema, human and social sciences, engineering sciences , natural sciences) and intersectoral (art, crafts, industry, research, education, cultural innovation).
The Call for Papers & Participation for the symposium was divided into three main sub-themes among which the winners chose to register: symbiotic individuations, organizations and imaginaries. It was a starting point to structure the call without limiting the scientific concept of symbiosis, and to encourage cross-cutting proposals outside disciplinary and technical classifications. The selected interventions will thus make it possible to discover works calling on symbiosis as a scientific concept but above all projects that use it as a metaphor
or more simply as an inspiration. It is an invitation to discover in a new way, both serious and curious, projects closely associating creation, research and technologies.
Which type of “hybrid beings” are coming into existence today, and thereby associating the human and the non-human? What new forms will they take, and will they be the next inhabitants of our planet? Experiments on trans-humanism, the emergence of new artificial autonomies, and new representations of natural elements are examples of the exploratory perspectives to be presented and discussed.
Human societies have founded their equilibrium upon multitudinous and interdependent forms of symbiosis across a wide swathe of domains: ecology, economy, culture, technology, and more.What happens when a given event destroys this fragile equilibrium? Researchers, artists, designers, and leading experts will offer their perspectives on these resolutely trans-disciplinary approaches, with the shared ambition of contributing to a world that is more resilient and at ease in its alterity.
In order to exist and prosper, symbiotic relationships — relationships in which each partner derives reciprocal benefits indispensable to their survival — are essential. Symbiosis is a vital necessity at all levels of all known eco-systems. But “necessary” does not imply that it should be reduced to its pragmatism or instrumentality. Symbiosis also opens us to new imaginaries, be they novel or redundant in the context of their corresponding era. If modes of collective imagination vary according to perspectives, they are always multiple and in dialogue with reality — what, therefore, constitutes the symbiotic imaginations of today and how and why invent new ones?
ISEA2023 called these sub themes “Clusters”.
IA / Generative
Artists and scientists have been working together for a long time to invent new artificial intelligences, in particular so-called generative intelligences (machine learning), which give the machine the power to produce knowledge or new forms from very large bodies of data (big data). The lightning acceleration of their creative potential and their accessibility to the general public raise new questions, both for creation and engineering, but also more broadly for the public and many sectors of activity. The presentations and debates will enable you to grasp the issues at stake and to discover experiments that herald future developments. Will they use positive symbioses?
Datum / Data
Data are at the centre of all debates. It is so inherent to our digital actions that it can be perceived as a symbiotic experience. However, ”data” (datum in the singular) is never given in a magical way, it is the result of a construction process via various systems of which mobile terminals are among the main vectors today. Often invisible, here they become visible, tangible and sometimes audible: a new “symbiotic landscape” between data and reality is taking shape. NFT / Blockchains An NFT (Non-Fungible Token) is a “non-fungible or non-exchangeable token” that designates a digital property as authentic. This information is then encrypted on the networks by the blockchain in the form of a token, an NFT. These certificates are being developed in all areas, especially for legal and financial acts. Artists, designers and curators are also using them, but often in roundabout and surprising ways. From the critique of hacking to the appropriation of these tools, several perspectives are opening up. They are not all necessarily symbiotic, that is the debate.
Social issues and practices are prevalent in contemporary art, both as a subject and a tool for experimentation. With the rise of digital technology and social media, these practices are evolving. In the wider context of social change, creators are experimenting and seeking alternatives to conservatism, such as fighting against discrimination. This struggle is positive as it offers new possibilities and ways of shaping society. These are social experiments – a symbiotic laboratory in action.
The metaverse is currently in a phase of incomprehension known as the “uncanny valley” where many technologies that are now widely adopted have also been (such as mobile phones that were initially unpopular). In the context of immersion, this topic remains relevant, and artists and designers have been continuously inventing “virtual worlds” and interaction modalities that
will undoubtedly become our future modes of action. There are countless genres of immersion possible, some focusing on images and sounds, others on action or participation, some fictional, and still others developing remote sociability. Let us explore these intriguing immersions.
Interactive & networked Art
Creators are not simply users of technologies. Through the uses they create, they question and transform our relationship with them. Sometimes, they are even co-inventors. ISEA has demonstrated this since its inception. Whether old or highly advanced, techniques are not only available to artists, designers or ingenious experimenters, they are inherent in any creative practice. Interactive, networked or creations that play with electronic images and sounds show how they mutate these technologies through creation, while too often we only hear the opposite.
Microscopic or macroscopic, bio-artists and bio-designers integrate all kinds of biological entities into their creations. By collaborating, biology, art, and design multiply their respective inventive capacities in a critical environmental context. Some advocate a «solutionist » approach, while others open up new paths without immediate application, but with a force that calls for a rethinking of what is established. This symbiosis between scientists and creators is ironic, as this notion originates from the life sciences. Pushed to its extreme and like lichens, this symbiotic process leads to the emergence of hybrid beings such as artist-researchers and designer-researchers.
Robots / Expanded corporalities
Anthropomorphic or not, robots are among us. They are numerous when considering automation systems as a whole. These entities are also evolving rapidly and are in constant interaction with humans, as well as with each other (think, for example, of the Internet of Things). The question of materiality is important in this context: how do these robots appear and how do we interact with them? Can we dance with them? Robotics, electronics, and software are also interacting with chemistry, new materials, and biology… Hybridization is giving rise to augmented bodies or extended corporealities. Symbiotic bodies?
Competition, predation, parasitism, mutualism, commensalism, and symbiosis correspond to the different categories commonly accepted to define the various types of relationships between living species. Each of these relationships is a matter of survival for the individuals that compose them. Inter-species has become a major concern due to the environmental crisis, largely due to human behavior. This notion directly questions the place of humans in their environment and the relationships they have – or do not have – with all living beings. The ancient separation between culture and nature is rightly being questioned. The cards are somewhat reshuffled, but no one really knows what the rules of this new “game” between species will be.
- Ecosystems / Climate Change
To take action and avoid solastalgia (psychological distress related to ecological awareness), there’s nothing better than immersing oneself in the actions taken by artists, designers, and/or scientists who are working to address environmental issues in an exciting way. Philosopher Bruno Latour invites us to recognize that, ”if you […] switch from an administrative map to a geological or meteorological one, you’ll clearly see that vast areas of terrestrial existence, on which nations depend, are represented by no one: neither the atmosphere, nor oil, nor coal, nor animals, nor forests. Even more curious, soils, whose care and maintenance are essential to the very definition of a territory, have no official representatives, so they can be pillaged as if they didn’t form the foundation of Europe, China, or Ethiopia.” What more can be said except that we must take proactive action to protect our planet and that art, design, and science can inspire us to do so in a creative and exciting way.
- Non-human / Post human Agency
Can a robot be considered human? No, not yet. Similarly, a microbe cannot be considered human. However, a robot is an artifact designed and manufactured by humans, and it has gradually acquired cognitive abilities that were unthinkable for a machine not long ago. So, is it completely non-human? The bacteria that live on and in our bodies are ten times more numerous than our cells. Are we not mostly composed of non-humans? Of course, we shouldn’t mix everything up, but this exercise helps us understand that the arrangements to be invented between “humans” and “non-humans”; what is «human». This notion has been mutating over centuries, and more especially today.
- Other Cosmologies
This is not about the science that studies the structure, origin, and evolution of the universe considered as a whole. Cosmology is to be understood here in a metaphysical sense, and especially in the plural and in an alternative way. Therefore, it concerns propositions that open up singular understandings of the world, inviting us to imagine several by hybridizing different cultures and philosophical approaches. This will thus involve, for example, technoshamanism, aquatocene, or hydrological symbiosis.
Architectures / Territoires
Territories are not just maps, they are meant to be explored. This session offers the opportunity to discover various projects involving territorial actions, each with their own local specificities. Here, the goal is to decontaminate an urban fringe area by making heavy metals visible through an artistic, technological, and participatory installation: repair a refrigerator, essential in a hot and war-torn country. Elsewhere, exploring the seabed by following telecommunication cables. A little further, a multitude of screens will be installed or the history of colonization (of territories) through architecture will be reflected upon, proposing counter-monuments. Theory will also be discussed to debate methodologies in architecture: network architectures, concepts, and topologies. This will be a journey that is both theoretical and practical.
- Museums / Curation
Digital technologies are transforming the way museums and cultural institutions present and interpret their collections, as well as how they engage with visitors. Virtual exhibitions, mobile applications, and online guided tours allow visitors to discover collections in new ways. Digital tools have also enabled curators to better understand and present objects in a
more in-depth manner. Curating has also evolved with the use of augmented reality, social networks, and content sharing platforms. But the uses don’t stop there. Content and ways of exhibiting and presenting research are also transforming, for example, curating specialized in research-creation.
- Reinvented Alliances
Creating new alliances involves questioning notions such as participation, cooperation, collaboration, as well as coopetition and even competition. The links between researchers (artists, designers, scientists, engineers, and diverse audiences) also play out between the different organizations to which they belong – schools, universities, laboratories, workshops, associations, companies. Researchers and creators cannot be separated from their research instruments or avatars, nor individuals from their context and tools. The way in which this work is publicly shared is also an important issue (publications, demos, etc.). There is a form of creation in the field of organization, just as there is in art or science. It is necessary to compose, arrange, and tinker in order to create innovative and sustainable alliances.
International Programme Committee
ISEA2023 / CUBE Team:
- Nils Aziosmanoff – Director of the Cube Garges
- Klio Krajewska – Production Director
- Clément Thibault – Artistic Coordinator
- Alicia Bonneau – Partnership Officer
- Pauline Barthe – Communication Officer
- Fanny Testas – Communication and production Officer
- Sonia Michigan – Production Assistant
ISEA2023 / ENSAD Team (Academic Chairs):
- Dr Emmanuel Mahé (France) – ISEA Academic Chair: Head of Research at ENSAD Paris, Director of EnsadLab and member of the Sciences Arts Création Recherche(PSL-SACRe) board
- Edith Buser – Associate Director of Research of ENSAD and co-organizer of the academic call
- Pauline Barthe – Organizer of the academic call
- Dr Elena Papadaki (UK/Belgium) – ISEA co-Chair: researcher, educator and curator, Director of MA Design at the University of Greenwich, advisor to the Royal Society of Arts (RSA)
- Dr Maria Ptqk (Spain) – ISEA sub-topics co-Chair: researcher, curator and cultural producer.
- Prof. François-Joseph Lapointe (Quebec) – ISEA co-Chair: artist and scientist from the University of Montreal, holder of two doctorates (in evolutionary biology and in dance and performance)
ISEA2023 Steering committee
- Alain Fleischer – Director Le Fresnoy
- Alicia Bonneau – Partnership Officer ISEA2023
- Annaël Le Poullennec – General Manager EUR ArTeC
- Anne Sedes – Director MSH Paris-Nord
- Annick Bureaud – Director Leonardo OLATS – Independent curator
- Armand Behar – Co-director CRD, ENSCI, Les Ateliers
- Benjamin Cadon – Director Labomédia
- Céline Berthoumieux – Director ZINC – Co-director CHRONIQUES – President d’HACNUM
- Claude Farge – Director Forum des images
- Clément Thibault – Artistic Coordinator ISEA2023
- Don Foresta – Artist – Researcher – Theorist – Teacher
- Edith Buser – Associate Director of Research at the École des Arts Décoratifs – Co-organizer of the academic call ISEA2023
- Emmanuel Guez – Director ESAD Orléans
- Emmanuel Mahé – Director of research at the École des Arts Décoratifs – Academic chair ISEA2023
- Eric Prigent – Digital Creation Coordinator Le Fresnoy
- Everardo Reyes – Vice President Digital Paris 8
- Fanny Testas – Communication and production Officer ISEA2023
- Franck Ancel – Artist – Theorist
- François Taddei – Director Learning Planet Institute
- Frank Madlener – Director IRCAM
- Guilherme Carvalho – Researcher in virtual environment in charge of ISEA2023 – MSH Paris-Nord
- Hugues Vinet – Scientific Director IRCAM
- Inès Selmane – Project manager in the Digital Development Department Forum des images
- Jean-Marie Dallet – Professor and artist ACTE Institute (Sorbonne)
- Jeanne-Marie Portevin – Coordinator EUR ArTeC
- Joël Chevrier – Professor, in charge of the ISEA2023 project – Learning Planet Institute Professor
- Klio Krajewska – Production Director ISEA2023
- Marc Dondey – Director ENS Paris-Saclay La Scène de Recherche
- Michèle Ziegler – Digital Development Directorate Forum des images
- Nils Aziosmanoff – Director of the Cube Garges
- Pauline Barthe – Communication Officer and Co-organizer of the academic call ISEA2023
- Sonia Michigan – Production Assistant ISEA2023
- Sophia Lahlil – Head of Administration and Coordination La Scène de Recherche ENS Paris-Saclay
- Yves Citton – Researcher – Theorist – Teacher Paris 8
3rd Summit on New media Art Archiving Organising Committee
- Wim van der Plas, ISEA Archives
- Terry Wong, ISEA Archives
ISEA2023 Extended Programme
Partners, Sponsors & Funders
- French Ministry of Culture
- Center National du cinéma et de l’image animée (National Centre for Cinema and Animation)
- Government of Quebec
- MAIF, Mutuelle d’assurance des instituteurs de France (Mutual insurance for teachers in France)
- The International Organization of Francophonie (OIF)
- ISIT, School of Multilingualism and Intercultural Management
- Institut Francais
- Office franco-quebecois pour la jeunesse (Franco-Quebec Youth Office)
- AIFQ, l’année de l’innovation franco-québécoise, (the year of Franco-Quebec innovation)
- Elektra (Montreal)
- UCA, University for the Creative Arts
- Proceedings (PDF)
- Catalogue (PDF)
- Final Programme (PDF)
- Workshop Programme (PDF)
- Extended and Exhibition Program [PDF]