The contingent, not necessary, materialisation of the concept

— Art After Museum

After Art Museum (AAM)

This is not the translation of the original French text

My first virtual project was a proposal for a museum based on a museum (The EAM : Explorable After Museum) : a space for exhibition, a space for existence, for whatever has no reason to exist in a physical space.

The project, which dates back to 1993, has, with time, taken on a growing importance, as though history had proved me right. It is a space in which each element seems to refuse to exist. What is in situ work, if the constraints of physics, of real-estate, of matter, the social constraints like aesthetic references or sensory expectations such as the clichés of our fantasies could be un-done?

Discovering how difficult it is for proposals not necessarily based on repetition to be intelligible, such as those that attempt to reinvent not the form but the context, not the language but the tune that enables us to spread the word, EAM is of the kind that presupposes that we need to create the context in order to take on other forms, once more formulating the same inability to give things permanent expression.

The context for expressing the situation.

The situation, meaning the fusion/confusion between the representation and the illicit, unauthorized exercise, which reinforces its autonomy through the discovery of its vast limitations.

AAM is a project that I have now left in the Dump because it is ripe enough for its materialization to infiltrate artistic practice, without its name needing to become known.

The original text from 1993:

An art collection conceived by contemporary artists for virtual reality



Milestones for an Art After Museum

Is there thing such as Art After Museum ? Cosa Mentale 


Back to the cavern (contemporary wall art ?)


The work of the Art After Museum world is a potential image, a return to the realm of mind things, to the realm of the “Cosa Mentale”


Art After Museum is a living place for different artistic works.


Works gathered together because of their skills to evolve in a site subject to highly specific constraints.


Works are built as computer data-bases. They are immaterial phenomena which must optimize the novel potential of their host site.


Art After Museum can be created in numerous sites. Each elected site can contain different choice of works. The number of works integrated is variable and evolving.


During the initial phase, artists who are asked to produce works will be unfamiliar artists concerning the technologies used. They will be selected according to their abilities to take into account the space in which they work.


Art After Museum is not COMPUTER ART. Computer technology is merely one of the conditions whereby such an art was born. Artists will not be asked to possess any specific skills in the chosen technologies.


They will not be in charge of the technical aspects of making the art works. They will fullycontrol the fabrication process.


Each work may exist in several copies. Conversely, the artist may agree to there being a single work.


For the spectator : the picture is the shadow art casts on the visible world.



The MACHINE is one of the WORK’S MEMORIES. Yet, it remains independent of the work. It is a visualization DEVICE of the SAS* It is neither the work, nor its support. THE MUSEUM IS THE DEAD MEMORY OF ART. 


ART AFTER MUSEUM IS A LIVE MEMORY. Contemporary art is no longer an hostile environment. Art After Museum is an hostile environment. It is heterogeneous compared with the surrounding space. Special accouterments are required to explore this Environment, and it is necessary to pass through a communication SAS. Is Art After Museum stifled or liberated ? Is contemporary art stifling or liberating?


Art After museum : a breath of fresh air ? A black hole ?


EXPLORING is not the same than VISITING.


The art EXPLORER is an active SPECTATOR.


Unless the artist wishes otherwise, the spectator is not the maker of the work, but merely its casual or willful witness.


The way he or she explores the works constantly changes. From one exploration to an another, the representation alters and the work remains.


The Art After Museum work has its own inherent life :


it can move, self-generate, self produce, reproduce, metamorphose, age, disappear, change scale, change space, change time, dialogue with the outer world, communicate with other Art After Museum sites, and it also can modify as a function of the various explorer’s approaches. Gather works which transcend physical laws.


LIGHTER ART ! The public : explorers submerged in a World with their own lives, a World with its own inherent constraints, a World in which the only constraints have been willed by the artist.


In this case, the work is no longer the result of a struggle between artist and matter : it is A WORLD OF PURE REPRESENTATION. 


The submerged explorer moves around/inside the Art After Museum world.


Audience stay outside : spectators can observe the outsider events. They benefit from the explorer’s experience. Images are invisible and reversed for them.


These images are neither VIRTUOUS nor VIRTUOSO


they are like satellite shots of a world yet to be invented.


The visualization device (SAS) is linked neither to the world, nor to the Art After Museum. It is a temporary device, bound by current technological limits. Works, which are independent of the machine and visualization device, may be explored at a later date by other means considered more user-friendly, more accurate, experientially richer, cheapier, more challenging, more tactile, more sensual, etc.


The explorer proceeds from one work to another, moving toward the icon representing the work which has to be explored. Outside its actual observation space, the work, may be represented in various guises at his maker’s whim, allowing its localization. Such indicators may consist of :


-work written title – the author written name – icon representing the work (pictogram ?) – undefined information cloud – any other symbolic clue.


Unless the author specifically wishes, the various works cannot be seen simultaneously. At most, their representative icons may be presented in the same time, allowing the explorer to choose a path.


The sensor equipped explorer’s movements through the SAS condition his or her subsequent movements in the Art After Museum world.


Exploration of a given work calls for precise, often delicate movements. Shifting from one work to another calls for greater amplitude of movements.


Space /time distortion :

the spectator’s real movements is not proportional to simulated camera moves in the Art after Museum world. The spectator’s movement is relative to the one of the cameras.


The retina is fortuitously located in the trajectory (virtual picture) of the projected image, the light beam.