I'd like to introduce Nicolas Clauss of Paris to the discussion on -empyre-
of interactive video for the Web. Many will be familiar with Nicolas's work
from his celebrated site http://flyingpuppet.com . Nicolas has produced as
much interactive video for the Web as any net.artist on the planet. In
introduction, here is an email interview I did with him last week
for -empyre-. Please feel free to ask Nicolas questions. English is not his
first language, but he is kindly eager to participate in the discussion.
JA: Is your work interactive video for the Web or something else related to
NC: Interactive video for the web? Actually it is online but it is not
specifically for the web since my works are projected in exhibition rooms
with videoprojectors, the web is only for me a way of showing the works for
larger audience even though I'm limiting the size of it and its weight for
the web (this is the first contradiction but there are plenty more:-)
JA: Interactive video seems ok to describe it even though it is not actual
but sequences of picts, so maybe we could call it interactive moving images?
NC: Once again I'm doing things without thinking too much of what it is,
generally I like to call what I do interactive tableaux (referring to
JA: What is the role of interactivity in your work?
NC: The interactivity is essential in my work, it allows the user to be more
than a spectator, to become one of the elements of the process, my art is
incomplete without him or her, it is the combination of the user's actions
and what I offer to them.
JA: You seem to collaborate well and with many people. What do you typically
look to them for? What is it that you do rather than your collaborators?
NC: Regarding flying puppet I only collaborate with musicians (except two or
three pieces on flying puppet where Frederic Durieu and Antoine Schmitt gave
me a hand) but I like working alone including for the sound, as you know I
used (???) to be a painter and like to control everything in the making of
art. Therefore it doesn't limit me to a solitary work, I like to open up
and meet other creators, they bring me their own world and open my mind to
other possibilities and it is important, I really enjoy it but fundamentally
I need to do stuff on my own, it is a good balance to go from collaborative
works to solitary ones.
Beside I'm doing works based and collaboration with people who are
apparently not creators like the kids I worked with for De l'art si je veux
(http://www.delartsijeveux.com) or other residency jobs like j'ai 10 ans
(www.jai10ans.com). I like working with people who don't really know
I do a lot of work with Jean-Jacques Birge. He is a composer but brings
more than music, we like to do regularly some works together, for
Somnambules we wanted to do something about dance so we had dancers and
musicians working for us (actually more for us than with us). With
Jean-Jacques it is a real collaboration, starting with filling the
applications to find founds (which is the starting point), to film together,
dream together... of course at the end I'm the one to program and put
JA: You use sequences of bitmaps quite frequently, rather than video, in
NC: For the only reason that I don't know any other way to make a video
interactive, when I use sequences I can do whatever I want (well, nearly...)
with it, going from one picture to the other, changing the direction
(forward, backward), the speed, play with the size, the quad, the layers...
JA: What directions is your own work going in?
NC: This year is a turning point in my work, I still do projectS for the
in the frame of residency (that's what I'm making a living out of), but I
start working on installations using captors and projectors. I have a large
exhibition in may around "de l'art si je veux" with 4 installations where
I'm working with a specialist of sensors and sensitive interactivity,
Jean-Noel Montagne http://www.artsens.org/jnm.html, we will use four modules
of the online project that will be done in real space without mouse but with
the movement of the spectators like a chair that makes the work move while
you sit on it, or a sensitive floor in which the works are projected and
a wooden bridge on which you walk and which interact on the projections ...
Plus another big project for this autumn with Jean-Jacques and Jean-Noel
called "tout nu".
I'm working on prints made out of some flying puppet works like White Vibes,
Scalpel and some more and start to think of wide screens including captors
to make some interactive "paintings".