articles - biographie
Canariasmediafest 2004 catalogue (october 2004)
When 0 and 1 create life : Nicolas Clauss and Han Hoogerbrugge
by Angela Molina Director of Ciber@RT Bilbao Festival.
Since the moving image made its appearance at the
end oi the nineteenth century, developments in the audiovisual field have
been unstoppable, and, to a certain extent, unimaginable. Accompanied
and powered by the appearance of new technologies, imaging has undergone
a major expansion.
The 1990s, with the popularisation oi Internet as a medium of mass communication,
was a paradigmatic moment, as all the schemas that had accompanied artistic
discourse were modified by this new technology. Walter Benjamin made some
early predictions in relation to cinema. He stated that each historic
space has modified human existence and the form and the manner of sensorial
perception. He makes us see that a new medium can create new expectations
and alter acquired notions associated with tradition. Something of what
Benjamin stated is in the works produced by multimedia artists. Exhibiting
a work in a generalised manner and overriding traditional schemes in which
the art world moves is today a reality made easier by the architecture
of the net.
In a society where the most brutal form of neo-liberalism has finally
triumphed, rapidly taking over communication-technology (which in neo-liberalist
hands is the technology of incommunication) to create a single line of
thought, the subject and his identity have entered into a crisis.
Faced with this situation, contemporary creators have taken over the media.
They integrate chaos into their discourse through random, non-linear creations
and produce their own spaces for creation, communication and exhibition,
autonomously and independently. Faced with the market economy they reply
with immaterial works that live in cyberspace and allow a direct, personal
relationship with the user.
Digital technology has introduced new properties to the work of art: interactivity,
ubiquity, processability, virtuality and inter-disciplinarity have given
rise to totally original works and have extended imaging. Works created
with ones and zeroes are proposals of meaning that change with each viewing.
Multimedia art obliges us to become involved; it is a perception of the
work with conscience. We find ourselves facing a single medium which integrates
different codes (video, audio, graphics, words, etc.) through the hypertext,
which involves a process of re-semanticising and re-contextualising through
which a new textual reality is formed. The hypertext includes non-linearity
and frees the texts from psychological, sociological and historical determinisms,
opening up an apparently infinite range of relationships.
The World Wide Web represents the most perfect application of the hypertext.
A network that allows "horizontal connections" with other places
and other minds by means of links. The user moves through a network of
texts, which displaces the concept of centre and therefore the focus or
organising principie of our experience. The hypertext is like life, full
of diverging paths; it is the language of exploration, discovery and flexibility.
AII of these new properties have given rise to other hybrids that displace
the very meaning of the terms with which we attempt to classify them:
the medium becomes the content, the format becomes the niedium and the
information becomes art.
The artistic work of Han Hoogerbrugge and
Nicolas Clauss is therefore impossible to
classify. They are artists who use 1s and 0s to create life.
Nicolas Clauss is a prolific and versatile
artist. His work, full of nuances and different genres, travels from the
most intimate spaces to social discourse. The origins of this author are
found in the two dimensional space of painting, an influence that is obvious
in all his work.
His inclusion in the timeless space of the web is a model of multimedia
work. Twelve years in painting led him to the search for a new medium.
His time at the ATI (Department of Arts and Imaging Technologies at Paris
8) opened up new possibilities for his discourse. But it was the CD Rom
Machiavel by Jean-Jacques Birgé and in particular Alphabet
by Birgé, Frédéric Durieu and Murielle Lefevre which
put him on the right track. He discovered the Director programme and the
bases of Lingo, as well as their possibilities for expression: the superposition
of textures, video manipulation, sound, imaging and interactivity.
Attracted by the possibilities the web offers for collaborating, although
without giving up the solitude of creation or losing his personal contribution,
he regularly works with the composer Jean- Jacques Birgé, who has
composed the music for the majority of his-work and with whom he founded
the website Le ciel est Bleu.
In 2001 Clauss created his own website (flyingpuppet.com)
where all of his works are on display. He is a tireless worker and the
sheer amount of works will surprise visitors to his website. He admits
that the web provides him with contacts, helps with distribution and allows
for a collaboration similar to cinematographic interactive co-writing.
The works of Nicolas Clauss mix contemporary
dance, music, painting, flash animation, cinema and photography. He states,
"my work is made by me and by the spectators" and "I supply
the co-ordinates and induce the final effect obtained". All his work
is effectively governed by interactivity. They are works in which a great
sensitivity and a great commitment to rife stand out. In all his work
the different media are subordinate to the behaviour of the piece and
to the author's discourse. It is a hybridisation of disciplines and genres
that create a universe of emotions, reinforced by the presence that the
author gives to the music and the soundtrack of the piece.
everything he imagines and sees. He enters into what is human and gives
it voice. He uses the web to create a poetic machine from which he demands
There is nothing more interesting in this world than man; and the most
interesting aspect of man is his inner life. And in the inner life the
most mysterious aspect is the profound depths that are revealed to us
Han Hoogerbrugge starts from the comic and
its representational form. The author's first work, Neurotica,
was made as a comic strip in which be detailed the adventures and misadventures
of his life as an artist during the mid 1990s. Later on, Hoogerbrugge
adapted it for a series of digital animations which he added to
his personal web page. He first developed it as short Gif animations
and then he added interactivity with Flash software.
His visual style is schematic. and complex at the same time, suggestive
and full of dynamism. While it was initially based on small interactive
animations emphasising a single action, with time his work has changed,
adding an increasingly larger narrative, as in his work in process "HOTEL".
Trying to appreciate or imagine the life of Han
Hoogerbrugge through his work is not difficult; the artist takes
his clothes off in front of us and shows himself to be irreverent. His
work is auto- referential but introspection and extrospection live together
in his website; it is the observation of self and external observation,
the awareness of possible conflicts between personality and environment.
Our neuroses in pure form, the stereotypes that shape and condition us,
the collective subconscious. In short, the spirit of our age is dealt
with by this author using irony and ingenuity.
His surrealist and incisive discourse makes us face up to social conventions
and leads us to identification. Far from the rules of logic, his characters
move in a chaotic world in which they struggle to survive.
The inner world of Han Hoogerbrugge is complex
and intelligent. In his work the environment and human beings are explored
and the subconscious comes to light. His comic strips form a theatre of
pulsations that go right to our emotions. Alejandro Jodorowsky says it
is easier for the subconscious to understand the langage of dreams than
rational language; this is the territory in which the work of this author
articles - biographie