Je suis dans l'autocar / I'm in the coach

I. Chicoutimi - Montréal, 2016.

II, Gwangju - Suncheon, 2016

Description of the work

Je suis dans l'autocar, I. Chicoutimi–Québec is the first opus of a series of videos questioning our perception of space in a world of ubiquitous digital technologies. Every digital art is inevitably an art of the device, but by confronting raw images I wanted to place the audience at the heart of my own perception, my own trouble.

After I landed in Quebec for the first time, I took the bus and expected to see fantastic landscapes beyond the window throughout the ride. The windows were yet covered with a thick layer of grime, smears of dirty, dried out snow, through which I could see absolutely nothing.

While the outdoor space could not be seen through the window, it was paradoxically thoroughly accessible through WiFi and Google Street View. I could see what was outside the bus by geolocating myself and displaying the view of the outside world on my iPhone.

One compromises on a daily basis with this fragmentation of perceptions, which is inherent to the hybridization of our sensitive experiences. Je suis dans l'autocar shows the absurd and poetic dimension of our condition as connected human beings. Digital technologies transform our comprehension of reality, in this case of space. But what is most real? that which is displayed on our iPhone screen? which we can see through the window? In contrast, digital technologies lead us to pay specific attention to the imperfect materiality which our senses can grasp, and to cherish it.

Foucault defines the mirror experience as an articulation between utopia and heterotopia:

In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface ; I am over there, there where I am not, a sort of shadow that gives my own visibility to myself, that enables me to see myself there where I am absent: such is the utopia of the mirror. (Michel Foucault, “Des espaces autres”, Empan, no 54, 2004/2, p. 15, trans. by Jay Miskowiec.)

In the same way, on my iPhone, reflecting the world through Google Street View, I can see the space surrounding me virtually opening up behind the surface. There, I can grasp what my senses cannot catch in the physical, present world. The technological object puts an ideal space before my eyes, a sort of essence of a place, frozen out of time, out of the present time that I am experiencing.

Foucault goes on to show how the real and unreal reverse in the mirror heterotopia. Alike, it is from my iPhone screen that I discover the poetic nature of what my senses comprehend in the real space. Based on this image of the ideal space, from the bottom of this virtual space on the other side of the screen, I start again to cast my eyes on the real space and rebuild it. There, I can see matter, contingency, my weakness, which may have to go through this virtual place over there in order to be perceived.

Read Hybrid 03 | 2016

Résumé of the artist

Françoise Chambefort is a artist and a researcher. She works with sound, fixed or animated image, and regards data as a art material.
She graduated in Multimedia Communication and Information Techology in 2015 (music and sound elective programme). She is now PhD student at ELLIADD Lab (Franche-Comté University, France) and works on generative art and his narrative potential. In the same time, she is taking lessons in Montbeliard Conservatory electroacoustic composition class from Jacopo Baboni, Lorenzo Bianchi and Giacomo Platini.

Figura International Scholarship winner in 2016 (Center for Research on Texts and the Imaginary), UQAM, Montreal, Canada.

Main works

Village Doc, 2015

Village Doc is a generative work of art, built from the real-time data of document loans made in the libraries of the 'Université de Franche-Comté'. GA 2015 : XVIII Generative Art International Conference, the 9, 10, 11 December 2015, Venice, Italy


Follow in Miss Electricity's footsteps , 2016

Transmedia development for Miss Electricity (Poème dramatique, de Fabrice Melquiot © L’Arche Éditeur, De Profundis Theatre Company, director Solène Froissart). First prize at the Hackathon Spectacle Vivant et Transmédia, L-EST/Laboratoire Européen Spectacle vivant et Transmédia, a joint project between VIADANSE-CCNFCB, MA scène nationale-Pays de Montbéliard and Le Granit, scène nationale de Belfort, France.


Great Guns for Allepo, 2016

New soundtrack for this Walt Disney film (1927) composed from national anthems, actual war sound and news. International Film Festival Entrevues, Ciné-concert : Cendrillon, Félix, Oswald et les autres, november 27th, 2016, Belfort, France.


Frozen words, 2016 / reWARm, 2017

Frozen words (Paroles gelées) is a multimedia device which updates Rabelais's metaphor by applying it to contemporary wars. Published in bleuOrange review, issue 9.

reWARm is the extension of Frozen words as interactive art installation. Saison Numérique du Département du Doubs, from january 4th to february 2nd, 2017, Pavillon des Sciences, Montbéliard, France.