Events Jan 27, 2015

The Partech Shaker is HQ to some of the tech/web industry’s most revolutionary startups, and this openness extends to everything new in the digital world, including art.

An assemblage of works displayed during the inauguration under the name ‘Story Makers’ show technology and art intermingled in the innovative spirit that underpins the Shaker. The exhibition was especially devised for the evening by curating duo NonPrintingCharacter, for whom ‘the medium is the message’, according to McLuhan. The name Story Makers draws inspiration from this vision of art born of technology: ‘technology is harnessed to tell stories’ declares the collective invited for the occasion by Thibaut Thomas. The exhibition’s name is also a nod to the entrepreneurs who inhabit the building, creating the startups of the future and trying to make history by taking risks.

Seven international artists saw their work exhibited in the Partech Shaker hallways. Parisian artists Emilie Brout and Maxime Marion contributed Dérives (Derivatives), a work that uses an algorithm created from 2,000 excerpts from classic films to create a story based on over 200 categories of tags that describe the film sequences. In this way, technology totally subverts and transforms the original narratives of the excerpts, building instead a story about water by mingling The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Waterer Watered, and Titanic. The fluctuating way that the machine edits the sequences creates a new and endless scenario for each spectator’s eyes.

Among the other works on display were Clément Valla’s Postcards from Google Earth, which transposes all the imperfections in Google Earth landscapes; Addie Wagenknecht’s Art Waars, a gaming-generated version of New York’s subway map that suggests myriad tech startups gradually driving gentrification into deteriorated neighbourhoods; and Shenzhen Sky, a backlit print by Constant Dullaart showing the hazy silhouette of the Foxcon factories that manufacture products for Apple.

By showcasing artworks that are both graphic and digital, by encompassing all forms and drawing visitors into an interactive exchange, the exhibition encouraged dialogue between the entrepreneurs and the artists throughout the inaugural reception.

Story Makers curated by NonPrintingCharacter for Partech Shaker features the work of Vincent Broquaire, Emilie Brout, Maxime Marion, Constant Dullaart, Penelope Umbrico, Clement Valla and Addie Wagenknecht.