To mark the opening of the first edition of digital arts festival Les Garages Numériques – a ten-day affair of exhibitions, conferences and label nights – in Brussels this week, we ask Juliette Bibasse (1984) – curator of the festival alongside graphic designer and producer Fabien Leclerq (1991), also known as Le Motel, Cosmic Pop Records co-founder Arthur Tixhon (1992) and Under My Garage founder Dorian Meeus (1991) – to select ten Belgian-based digital artists that caught her eye.
1. Joanie Lemercier
This Brussels-based French artist’s work is focused on projections of light in space, and its influence on our perception.His introduction to art happened at the age of five, while attending his mother’s classes on fabric design. The threads of his early education grounded his interest in geometry, patterns, and minimalist shapes. As Lemercier’s work evolved, he began to play with these concrete structures through the physics and philosophy of light and their ability to manipulate perceived reality. He co-founded the visual label AntiVJ in 2008, with Yannick Jacquet, Romain Tardy and Olivier Rats. Together, they worked on stage design for international festivals, and worked alongside artists on custom stage designs and large scale architectural projections all around the world.
Several gallery pieces will be presented at Les Garages Numériques.joanielemercier.com
2. Herrmutt Lobby
A collective of musicians and programmers founded in 2003, Hermutt Lobby researches and develops software and hardware alongside music, axed on a systemic approach of live performances. At Les Garages Numériques, they will present Playground, a mobile application that aims to show that media art can evoke new perceptions of music.
Playground will be presented at Les Garages Numériques.herrmuttlobby.com
3. Filip Sterckx
Filip Sterckx is a director and visual artist who received his masters in animation film at Sint-Lukas Brussels in 2007. His work is characterised by a dark aesthetic and a love for the experimental. Most of his creations started as small DIY projects that ended up as more detailed setups for music videos. He shows that digital production doesn’t necessarily involve complex coding or technology, but can instead be based on simple and original ideas. He has directed several music videos for Willow, Bodyspasm, Steak Number Eight and Eat Lions, that have won prizes both nationally and internationally, and also co-runs Skullmapping, an artistic collective that deals with art in an experimental, technology-related way.
My Orka will be presented at Les Garages Numériques.filipsterckx.be
4. Lionel Maes
Lionel Maes is an artist, graphic designer, software developer and teacher in code writing and digital images at Brussels art schools ERG and Le 75. Besides that, he also is the co-founder of graphic design studio La Villa Hermosa. The installation he’ll be showing at the festival, Homeopape, explores data visualisation and shows an almost incomprehensible way of news transcription, inspired by the flood of information we receive in the digital age.
Homeopape will be presented at Les Garages Numériques.lavillahermosa.com
5. Romain Tardy
One of the most prolific forces in the genre, Romain Tardy is a visual artist with a strong focus on the digital. After graduating in applied arts, he worked with animation and post-production studios in Paris. Tardy co-created the European visual label AntiVJ in 2008 and remained one of their main artists until 2013. Working as a VJ across Europe motivated him to explore the complex connections between sound and image. His installations make use of video mapping and light to enhance existing architecture and physical structures, while evoking a sense of poeticism. In his latest projects he questions the internet’s visual language, making use of memes, references and error messages, while raising new questions about them, and about the age we live in.
Je rate mon cerveau pré-internet will be presented at Les Garages Numériques.romaintardy.com
6. Felix Luque Sanchez
Félix Luque Sánchez’ work explores various subjects, such as childhood memories and machine intelligence, suggesting to the viewer an idea of temporality and space by showing different levels of a story, inviting the viewer to create his own narrative. He has been nominated for major international new media awards such as Transmediale 2010 (Berlin-Germany), the Multimedia Award from the Liedts-Meesen Fondation (Ghent-Belgium), and Ars Electronica 2010 (Linz-Austria), for which he received an Honorary Mention. From 2001 to 2007, he was a faculty member at the Audiovisual Institute of the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona, carrying out didactic and technical functions at the university’s Digital Arts Master and Postgraduate Programme of Musical Composition with New Technologies.felixluque.com
LAb[au] is a Brussels-based artist collective consisting of Manuel Abendroth, Jérôme Decock and Els Vermang, whose works are rooted in conceptual art, system art and concrete art – though actualised with contemporary materials, techniques and formats. LAb[au] questions contemporary aesthetics, confronting them with algorithmic logic, and researches the practice of artists using complex systems and series in their work such as Vasarely, Sol LeWitt and Vera Molnar. Their works carries a minimal visual language and explores various artforms, such as 3D prints, drawings, sculptural kinetic pieces and public space installations.lab-au.com
8. Gauthier Roumagne
Brussels-based French artist Gauthier Roumagne explores the audiovisual world through scenography, architectural mapping, installations, soundtracks and post-productions, specialising himself in real-time animations, audiovisual tools and the exploration of live performances. In one of his most recent collaborations, he worked with Julie Linquette and Wiet Lengeler on Racine Carré, a visual mapping of the famous French Vilmorin family.gauthierroumagne.com
9. Sébastien Lacomblez
The artistic approach of Sébastien Lacomblez is based on a primary philosophical premise: man is a culturally conditioned animal, who keeps trying to overcome his condition by trying to dominate nature.For his latest work he teamed up with web developer Emmanuel Pire for the creation of custom software that explores hybrid species, mutation and the relation between nature and technology.sebastien-lacomblez.com
10. Francois Zajéga
Living and working in Belgium, Francois Zajéga works as a researcher at the institute for new media technologies Numédiart, and as a teacher at art school “Arts au Carré”. His work is characterised by the exploration of imaginary structures through flat lines arranged in volumes, offering the viewer different perceptions of movement, space and energy.frankiezafe.org