burningcollection.tv is a generative artwork created by Swiss art collective Fragmentin in collaboration with artist Lauren Huret. This work is commissioned for the virtual space of the Jeu de Paume and is broadcast alongside the exhibition “Le Supermarché des images” from February 13 to June 7, 2020. Visitors to this website will be able to view the videos that are being continuously generated, consult the archives of the process and buy unique print of those images.
The artists have created a programme that selects in real time the five most-watched videos on a famous online content sharing platform. This selection is carried out according to a precise semantic field that the artists defined in advance.
The programme then takes these five sources, modifies them using random filters and aggregates them into a single video, which in the process becomes more complex and harder to decipher. The sound from each video is not modified and the five accumulated soundtracks provide some clues about the original subjects of the source videos. The artists have deliberately kept their selection criteria secret and will only reveal them at the end of the project.
Screenshots of this ever-changing chimerical video are saved at regular intervals, there by creating a collection of snapshots. By clicking on the “Archive and images acquisition” tab, you can consult these images, follow their progression and buy original prints of the images. Those will be printed on aluminum in 32 x 18 cm format and delivered to the visitors by post.
These complex images bear witness, in a deliberately undefinable manner, to the audiovisual content that is currently being watched around the world by thousands of eyes.
An estimated 600,000 hours of video are uploaded to this famous platform every hour, an activity that consumes an increasingly significant amount of so-called “grey energy”. Perhaps this mass of videos viewed on a large scale represents the confused traces of our collective psyche that is constantly being bombarded with conflicting information and burned or dazzled by the image and sound zeitgeist. Perhaps these images provide an implicit definition of the different media environments that immerse and define us.
As a work of art, “burningcollection.tv” is apparently in contradiction with the crucial issues at stake and yet it evokes the complex processes that consume both our minds and the world’s energy resources.
Burningcollection.tv (2020), Fragmentin & Lauren Huret
Generative web video & print on aluminium