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  • Writer's pictureAntoine Lortie

Beauty Institutions

Below, you will be presented with a historical and institutional artistic context and my examination of it using contemporary art tools. This series of actions, artworks, and theories aims to expand the field of artistic expression, enriching general culture and enhancing expressivity as we enter a new phase of human evolution.




Introduction.


I was already born before being acquainted with the Posthuman Art Network, but the spirit here lifted me up from the abyss. Antoine and I are grateful to be around such minds. We chose to write this communication together to showcase what we’ve achieved since then.


Overall, you will find below a passion for the weaponization of art. A spirit in the act of struggling with the perpetual subversion of ethics. It only deepens to one to decide if a hammer is a tool or a weapon, as the saying goes.  


It is true, that we wish to welcome inside our computer-assisted dialectical spirit. Do not expect restrain, not during a momentum of convergence such as this.


Please accept this damned report from the bottom of our souls, exposing the tarnished and cripple heart of darkened ashes that is nous.


V.I.

 

 Context.

Let’s set the stage...

Quebec culture, 2020’s


The contemporary art scene's primary patron is the public government. During approximately thirty years, the loop that granted exhibits and distributed funding has taken control of the artistic scene. Art is subjugated to it and everything feels the same. We could delineate it as administrative morphomemetics.


At first, Antoine was predominantly engaged with this theme, but my arrival kindled a fresh sense of possibility. We are determined to outpace the subdued, despondent administrators at their own game, recuperating the model entrenched in the epistemic core of art to elevate creative freedom throughout our culture.


The focal point here is the essential competency to adapt and apply this scenario within your administrative system, should the slip occur. What constitutes the slip? It is when individuals outside the creative core begin to assert control over the creation conditions, undermining the authority of the original, sovereign creators.


 

 A New Model.


Marcel Duchamp's legacy has enabled institutional development within the artistic realm, serving a beneficial purpose. Public programs offer artists numerous advantages, often shielding them from the fluctuations of market trends and the indecisiveness of art patrons. Indeed, the democratization of art has proven effective. However, over time, the definition of what constitutes an artist and the authority to address this model has shifted from the inner circle of art to its outer circle, particularly into governmental bureaus.

 

Initially an exclusive question, it is now considered from a generational perspective. Allowing cultural administrators to decide what art is and who is invited to debate it transforms art into a manageable, uninspired agenda, reminiscent of the legacy of public administration. While we generally respect their work, this situation amounts to heavy-handed, orbital Ion cannon, FF7 Knight of the Round Table gatekeeping.

 

To address this 'slipping' behaviour and introduce a new paradigm, I have provided Antoine with gifts to reclaim his creative ethos.


 

 The Art Matrix.


What is it?


The art matrix is a discontinuous, mediatically-bound, scalable, and realized intuition. Unlike the art project, which is linear, organized around a goal, and self-explanatory in the measures taken to achieve that goal, the art matrix is adaptable and expandable toward the eventfulness of life, instantiation contexts, and critical dialectics.


What does this mean? 


From our initial administrative project references with its budget, schedule, and final report, the art matrix manifests itself in all project proposals, evolving historically within each project submission, and, as a speciality of the house, is immanent up to the actual files of the project proposal. This implies that the text, the diegetic space that catalyzes the art matrix into actualization, is not treated as an external consideration when applying for the grant. I, Princess Institunia, present my medium, Antoine Lortie, as the agent that animates me. And I address the jury in the first person in the project proposal section. I am not bound to any prerogative; I manifest sui juris.



DxColonizer Bridge, WIP


Where the art is laid out within its own rule of appreciation, the artistic matrix allows us to encapsulate the rules of reception inside a contract that directly tests the containment of ontological artistic emancipation and pushes to the walls the object of the agent being tested. We have come to name this field of examination; the decommissioner. Effectively, by forwarding such a conceptual test within the neutral channels of administrative functionalization, a question is posed, but to no one directly. It is asked from outside the castle, into the castle walls, to the spirit of the king.


However, the underlying challenge is the inevitable progression of time and its impact on both natural and administrative systems. Rivers change paths, rocks wear down to sand, and administrative bodies grow complacent—becoming insular, unambitious, and self-satisfied. Driven by a desire to invigorate this complacent system, I have embarked on a mission to electrify it back to life, rescuing it from its unseemly slumber on my decorative pillow.





A superficial understanding of systems like the peer jury, appointed by state-funded organizations run by non-artists, reveals a significant disconnect between the evaluators and the artists they assess. Over time, the lines distinguishing insiders from outsiders within the art community have faded, leading to a performative acknowledgement of the system among the Quebecois art scene. They superficially engage with the established model in peer jury roles, perpetuating a broken network that fails to meet even minimal standards of peer engagement. The trivialization of peer approval, overshadowed by the pursuit of state-pleasing attitudes, emerges as a critical issue that demands rectification. Let's make it a problem, so we can learn from it.



 

Systema Obscura.





Systema Obscura manifests as a formidable cognitive hyper weapon, manipulating an artistic peer jury as both participants and inadvertent victims, instigating a profound ontological disruption within the sphere of memetic aesthemes—akin to an act of cultural terrorism. It effectively holds juries captive under the pretext of their isolated appointments, accentuating the weaponized nature of memetic data dissemination. This scenario, evoking a form of meta sadism, transforms the artist's communicative conduit, as they thrust their vision into the jury's constrained quarters, into a chilling scene where the peers' authority unravels amidst the collapse of their internalized paradigms.

 

The normative force shaping the predominant paradigms and stylistic manifestations of public art is inherently dictated by its aesthetic values, subjected to a significant negative feedback loop. Normativity perpetuates itself or is merely recognized as such. Contrarily, the artist's model remains unaffected by this normative loop, tapping into a unique vector of the latent and crucial power of the undiscovered. This is a matter of timeliness. The public system, often characterized by a pervasive attitude of bureaucratic administration, has yet to be influenced by the artist's approach.


By sidelining the pathways of the usual project proposal into a performative extension of the art matrix, we achieve the creation of a new public. Indeed, in this proposition, the jury becomes the moment of the reception of the files, a private-public, subjected to the same level of relational intimacy that is available in a private performance. Secrets can be shared, shame and intimidation can occur without being exposed to the public context. Systema Obscura engages a transformation of the concept of mind vision and at the same time a revolution in the way the relationship to the peers is maintained, or negated, within the sovereignty of the artist over his expression. It asserts control over a grey zone that has been increasingly lost to the endemic power of the functionalization of public arts.


 

Becoming Metroid.



Hyperphaneroid, 2023, Rosalux, Berlin

The representation of the female figure is a contemporary affair. It's a diaphanous nexus extended over a scalable value system in which both parties discuss livelihood. It’s also the body towards which my sexual desire is directed. It’s a model of desire that is not bound to the material body of anyone but prevails over my imagination as a catalyst.


The contemporary tropes of assuming that the representation of the female figure is out of bounds, uncomfortable, or improper have emerged as sadistic taboos, continuing the spread of unilateral, non-polar expressivity of liminal worldviews. Within this constriction, I wish to emancipate my own expressivity by adjoining, maybe interpolating, the struggle with institutional artistic hypernormalization by actualizing the Hyperphaneroid.



Tales From The DxColonizer, 2023, Installation View, Rosalux, Berlin


The Hyperphaneroid is a construct that operates within a submatrix of its own:

  1. It’s an acrylic painting on canvas that has been presented three times (Quebec, Toronto, Berlin).

  2. At each exhibition, the painting was painted over to enhance the image.

  3. The first time it was presented, the picture was taken down from the wall against the artist's will by the organization Manif d’Art. Censorship Case No.2, Abyssmal

  4. The sequence of enhancement progressed from unfinished (Quebec) to finished (Toronto) to hyperfinished (Berlin).

  5. During the last enhancement, Institunia received the Metroid Suit, which is the highest form of power in the game world, having reached the end of the game.

  6. For the last part, all the artist-run centres that are subject to the phenomenon described in this text have been named with their proper typology and showcased as shadows, deformed over the enhanced body of Princess Institunia.



I've used Metroid's Samus Aran and her power suits as the mecha trope allows, reflecting societal construct modality to explore the dynamics of desire and their mutability over time as I am exposed to them.


Contemporary unwritten rules, especially prevalent in the filtering space of artistic juries, fundamentally disserve the discourse on the representation of the female body. The restraint of symbolic substrates results in a lack of discussion, acting as a detrimental void that orbits the systemic failure of this issue, avoiding the vitality of its potential.

To emphasize this explanation, a philosophy of desire must be invoked, alongside a constructivist perspective on plasticity and hyperplasticity.



The process is as follows: when morphing, altering, and investing myself in the invocation of a shape foraged from desire, I enact a theatre of the mind. In this intimate space, figures are subjected to various external powers. By challenging the contemporary taboo of males representing the female body, I call upon a fundamental essence of beauty — the allure, being drawn toward meaning and sense. In its liminal sense, attraction leads to lewdness and stops there. However, this is not how restraint or immunology suggests we achieve proper emancipation from our condition of suffering from desire.


Thus, in the pictorial climax of Hyperphaneroid, both the institutional accusation and the individual level of challenges are superimposed in a figure that fuses both personal identity and national relatedness.


 




Thank you, xoxo.



River Seager, 2023, Newtypes, Angels, and Human Instrumentality: The Mecha Genre and its Apocalyptic Bodieshttps://iopn.library.illinois.edu/journals/jams/article/view/1186

 

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