‘Digital alchemy. Jacques Perconte is a modern alchemist, a master magician of the image. The pixel, that underwhelming element of measure of the digital image, becomes a whole palette of possibilities, a fine brush or a plank vibration, technology in the realm of plastic arts, binary poetry, romantic anarchism, a feverish hallucination of distorted images; always the eye, deceived by the underlying magic of what it sees. A universe behind a universe, like the machinations of algorithms always pulsating to discover the true reality of light: in what we see lies a hidden veil, a fantasy of representations. Manet, Monet, Degas, Cezanne, Matisse, the canvas, or Perconte and the computer.
‘Already a pioneer of internet art, Perconte has spent a lifetime discovering the hidden art in the interstices of the digital image. His endless series of works, for installation and cinema, have sprawled hours and hours of meditative journeys through the nature of image, and the image of nature. Like a benevolent creator, Perconte takes and gives back. From nature, its more beautiful images, from technology, the return of a representation in the heights of the greatest painters. It’s a reciprocal coexistence, a habitat where nature is praised with a gift, an offering for the gods. While glitch art has already been vastly explored (Burks, Brizz) and it’s currently been used (Murata, Silberstein) in cinema and video art today, nobody uses this “manifestation of the error” to such metaphysical depths: the primal cause of a certain source of reality, the creation of image itself.
‘His latest “Radical Love Study” series, consists so far in two works: Or / Our, Budapest (2018), and Or / Or, Hawick (2018) , both properly scored by Perconte himself. Or / Our Budapest, just three minutes long, escalates from a visual and sound drone into the high tension of drama, where the golden spaces of sky are briefly interrupted by paths of birds which draw impressionist emphasis in the image, an image that breathes in flux, like a living organism of a gold idol, slowly approaching the ignition of the visual field, a path of lava that overflows inside the the matrix of the earth. In his own words, the image slowly approaches the ultimate light, the seventh sphere where absolute love is reached, a-la-Dante. The music fuses Stars of the Lid via Fuck Buttons through the drone works of La Monte Young, a soundtrack for the manifestation of expectation, for the entrance to the gates of heaven. Or / Or, Hawick immediately Klimt-ian in its intention, awakes from the golden afternoon from a sky in Hawick, Scotland, while it breaks apart like a nebula, like the apparition of a cosmic phenomena inside earth. A bird, a small black dot, is the vessel drifting away from the primal pulse of the universe, as other flying ghosts appear and rip apart the space, again, in white interstices. The score, intensely spiritual, repeats itself, like a mantra, taking a breath to allow the image to then weave a colorful cloth of digital colors, an abstraction that gets near the essence of digital image, or just simply the image, the eye, the eternal patterns of what we call reality.
‘Perconte latest acts of love are, I dare say, deeply religious in its presence of the spiritual, the closest thing an artist has been for a while to, whatever you want to call it, whatever you believe in, god.’ — José Sarmiento Hinojosa, desistfilm
Jacques Perconte Site
Jacques Perconte @ Vimeo
Jacques Percent @ Galerie Charlot
Jacques Percent @ Twitter
RECODING VISUALIZATION IN THE TIME OF WEB: THE CASE OF I LOVE YOU BY JACQUES PERCONTE
A Look At Jacques Perconte’s Digital Impressionism
JACQUES PERCONTE’S MANIPULATIONS
JACQUES PERCONTE – THE INTERVIEW
L’Ultime Debussy avec Jacques Perconte
Jacques Percent @ Light Cone
Jacques Perconte @ IMDb
« Mes images, c’est de la magie déterminée »
Jacques Perconte: Explorateur de la plasticité de l’image
FAUST: Ode numérique de Jacques Perconte
Jacques Perconte : impression, pixel levant
JACQUES PERCONTE, D’EST EN OUEST
JACQUES PERCONTE FILMS & VIDÉOS
Jacques Perconte – Bref
Entretien avec Jacques Perconte
Your works can sometimes refer to the impressionists. Can this be explained by your relationship to nature?
I do not try to tell nature in my work. I try to bring her back to sublimate her. […] The image is the traces, from one end of nature, from the body, from the form. There is an imbalance that occurs, which is very strong, between something that belongs to a past, that was filmed, as a kind of document. And something that is real, which is the distortion of the image, and its explosion. At no time do I have the will to destroy – even if I use it in my vocabulary – to insult, mistreat the images, to find them vulgar. On the contrary. I want to sublimate them, show that we can see them in an incredible way. And this is where I am very close to Impressionnism, or even, before Impressionism, to Turner; for I feel as close to Turner as to Monet, perhaps more to Turner himself. […] My problems are similar, and in fact we have techniques that can be very close, because I use the technique to express light, color and shapes. […] The difference is that I’m turning away, not him. One of our similarities is that they affirm the materiality of the painting. And I affirm the materiality of digital, digital. They touch me immensely because they show me images that assert themselves as images, and not images that assert themselves as nature, that want us to believe that things are there.
Transmission plays a key role in the formation of your images …
I transmit an energy, sensations, very abstract things but which concern expressions and feelings. My film Impressions (2012) poses this question of relation to aesthetic experience in a general way. And I do not want to show images as political times because they destroy other images or manifest a political stance that would be revolutionary by making noise. I am convinced that to transform things you must not just make noise. That is to say that noise is what we try to eliminate in general. The computer laws are based on the attempt to eliminate noise. So, make noise is to produce what we will try to eliminate. It must be found how signal and noise can be indissociable. And above all, to make only noise, it is to remain in the marginality. I do not want to stay in the margins. I want my images to be popular, accessible. I realized that in a projection, in 2002 I think, where 3-4 of my films were broadcast afterwards in a movie theater and people took full advantage of it. It was super violent, it was black (laughs), it was terrible. I saw people, adults who wanted to escape. I thought I did not want to do that. And from there I stopped doing everything I did to look at the landscape. I do not want to show destruction, neither pop nor cynicism. I do not want to manifest something that is free because it destroys, that it refuses. I do not want to separate people from each other. There are very good intentions behind it.
The hard part is not working with digital material?
No it’s the easiest! It’s super easy, but it’s long. The hard part is to film properly. That does not mean that it is planned that one films, but it means to give enough time to a meteorological phenomenon for example. To say “here, we do not see anything, but there may be something”. This is the case in one of my films for the cinema, which is free distribution, completely free, which is called Chuva (2012). During this shoot, we arrive in Madeira, we settle in the hotel. The horizon begins to scramble a little bit, it will start raining, so I take my camera and I put it on the balcony. I unpack my luggage, all that. I look from time to time and I see that it is very black. I tell myself it does not matter. I let the camera spin. And after that, when I saw that, the camera had done everything she could to try to film that thing. To affirm what was happening. There were a lot of potential things in the picture, and I made a sublime movie with that. It’s not because we do not see, that the camera is not going to do something. And even when she can not, she opens doors to wonderful things. This is just an example, but I learned a lot from cameras.
How has your relationship evolved with this digital material, which is still evolving?
It is a constant return trip. In the 90s I had a digital camera, one of the first, so I had paid a fortune. He was doing catastrophic photos. Until the day I wondered why I was trying to make him take pictures like a film camera. I started going where he could do funny things, a little special. It’s always going into a relationship with the device and doing things that are going to be unique, since its way of diverting things is unique. And I test. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not work. But I do it a lot. Yesterday, I was on Hortillonnages [in Amiens] by boat, we slipped on the water. At one point, we go to a rather dark place and then at the end there was the sun which was very strong. I could have decided to close my optics to bring in less light and not burn the image when I was going to get in the sun. But I left the thing open. And because I left it open when we arrived just then, where the image was starting to be completely burned, there is a heron that flew away. It was super beautiful. If I had filmed it normally, we would have had a picture of heron flies completely natural. While there, we have something incredible. I have a very strong relationship with the making of the image / things.
What is the idea behind all this, that you want to convey to the viewer?
I have this story of a collector who bought me a generative piece on the Ardèche, which is very hyper realistic. Often he gets in front of him, looks at her and then for 10, 15, 20 minutes, this piece produces very abstract images, imbued with great strength, but it does not come. And he gets up, and when he gets up it changes. He realizes then, that there is no show. The room does not give itself. So this is the question of letting go, compared to the desire to have a result, the desire that something happens. And he loves it, because a special relationship is rich and as in nature, the surprises are wonderful … There is a series that I have been doing for a few years on the Alps, which is very calm. Whenever I show it in the gallery, people do not see it, because there is not much that happens. But when they spend more time in the room, they realize the plastic power she has, which is completely incredible.
Where did you get this desire to work on the relationship of the viewer with the work?
When I started doing video gallery exhibitions – at the beginning of my collaboration with Galerie Charlot actually – there was really this very strong story for me, to know what was going on for me when I am here. I built these images, all these generative pieces in the perspective that we have something open, that does not produce a show. It’s not immediate. These are works with which we will engage a relationship. Sometimes plasticity is so concentrated that you can not see anything. We are always discovering because we have never seen. I want to give things where there is an aesthetic power that will be built as the relationship develops.
Does this awareness come from what you learned by filming the landscape?
Yes, surely, but also the way I have been doing for ten years with yoga, with spirituality. And all the reflection I can make on society, on the teaching I can give, which is really related to this issue of presence. The presence that means not waiting, not thinking about what just happened and what will happen next. I do not like immediacy and works that end right away. Those that do not require that we build a loop, round trip, to discover it, whether it is something rich. There is something in my work related to inefficient parts. For the generative parts there is something very important is that they are parts in tension. We are witnessing the dysfunction. The parts I sell have a program that watches that it does not crash (laughs). And if it crashes, it raises. We are in the manifestation of the accident.
So it’s a very organic process?
It is the result that is organic. It’s mathematical. The machine does not realize that it is doing badly. I’m always amazed not to crash during the concerts, where I bug videos extremely virulent. I’m always amazed that it works, because it should not, it’s something that is not controlled at all. I am in diversion, mastered plastically and technically, but not in the manner of an engineer. It’s like I’m holding someone above the void knowing his point of balance. And so I push it hard, and I know how far I can push. It’s a bit like performance
We always come to the question of limits …
Yes, and I am convinced that the plastic force comes from there. As when we see things that are at the edge of the visible, we can barely see. Sometimes there are incredible sides that manifest themselves at that moment. I’m comfortable with this side of pushing things. The plasticity of my images comes from this very strong energy that pushes the images out of themselves.
15 of Jacques Perconte’s 230 works
OR / OR, HAWICK: RADICAL LOVE STUDY (2018)
‘In the Klimt’s gold brought to the melting point by a flaming afternoon sky above Hawick, in the south of Scotland, one bird is crossing the sky. From one end of the horizon to the other, its flight defies space and time, to the extent of making them bend and overlap into each other. The journey to the light is to waive the appearences to embrace a mystical dimension where all become love-light-gold. This infinite flux evolves into harmony of existence and unity of life, where all colors join together, kiss and blend.’ — JP
OR / OUR, BUDAPEST: RADICAL LOVE STUDY (2018)
‘Quenched in the Klimt’s gold, the aurora upon Budapest shines of thousand fires. The tiny birds seam to be flying from the firmament and dancing. Immensity and calmness enter indeed in resonance with the fluxes of the Earth. Our entrails, as pulled by the forces of the underground lavas, remind us of the power of patience. The quest for light, the quest for love can begin in the vibrations of this letter of incandescente images, fanned with emotions.’ — JP
BOIS DE LA BELLE GOUTTE: VOSGES (2018)
‘A walk one morning in November 2016 down Champdray where I was at the first residence for Faust. It was a hunting morning, I heard them in the distance. It was cold, but the sun was hot. And the strong one still in her autumn clothes let her greens, her yellows, her browns and her reds shine in an incredible calm. I knew that in a short time I would have to turn back because of the shots. But my footsteps took me far enough into the forest, it was wonderful. I met a fox, but it was so fast that I only saw it and the magic made it happen at a time when I was not filming. I walked slowly cracking the dead wood under my feet, crossing the puddles with joy to slide along the forest, so wonderful.’ — JP
JAPA (QUATRIÈME): JAPAS (2018)
‘“What is a mantra? Mantra is two words: Man and tra. Man means mind. Tra means the heat of life. Rameans sun. So, mantra is a powerful combination of words which, if recited, takes the vibratory effect of each of your molecules into the Infinity of the Cosmos. That is called ‘Mantra.’” Yogi Bhajan 4/22/97’ — JP
FONTE: MADEIRA (2017)
‘This is the third performance around the landscapes of Madeira. After having begun this return to the audiovisual performance with Dépaysages in 2012 on the improvisations of Jean-Jacques Birgé, Vincent Segal and Antonin Tri-Huang, then dug the subject with Jeff Mills in Extension Sauvage in 2013, it is with Julien Ribeill, that the adventure continues late 2017. Madeira is in a way the synthesis of all the visual adventures – films, generative videos, performances – developed for four years. To work with Julien for that, is to go looking for new magic vibrations in the images, it is to move the adventure more inside, to find these colors and these still hidden inspirations. More than a perspective of creation, it is an introspection, the moment of a return to the source.’ — JP
FRAGMENT WALL: VDIÉOS MUSICALES (2017)
‘Here Fragment Wall, a stroll in poetic and glowing forest, beautifully put in image by the visual artist and director Jacques Perconte which sublimates the already very moving music of the talented Eskimo. And when we switch, around 4 minutes 45, the tension is striking, literally and figuratively, the music of Eskimo starts to dribble, to dribble, oozing beauty, and I succumb.’ — Matthieu Dufour
L’ÉCUME DU PHARE: HAUTE NORMANDIE (2016)
‘It is at the end of the dike, in Fecamp down the lighthouse, that I like to settle watching the coming and going of the waves. The sea flows towards the beach. She raises herself against the wall to return and push the foam on the return of her path, while the next wave already digs his. It never stops. It calms down. That intensifies. Through my eyes, slipping inside me, I forget the time and I look, I think of nothing. The foam occupies my heart, and the wind protects me from the rest. There, at the foot of the lighthouse, I meditate ….’ — JP
L’OR NOIR: LANDES (2016)
‘Obviously at work to create a terrible sensation when the ocean thickens and becomes black, the water turns into potash, acid, and then into oil. Heavy, the froths fall more and more strong until a magical breakthrough of light tears the image and installs the day after night. The sun shines the rough surface of the waves. And by dint of light, the water burns and becomes gold. But we barely walk, and we know that we risk drowning if we do not keep our heads well above the waves. Which is not always easy.’ — JP
LE QUARTE ALPI: LES ALPES (2015)
‘I film almost all the time when I’m on a boat, train or plane. I am ready to capture the magic of the lights of a light after the storm or the crushing sun of a summer afternoon. I watch the colors vibrate. I filmed all my trips over the Alps and it was not until October 2013 that I had the chance to see them completely clear and bathed in the cold light of a powerful winter sun.’ — JP
CONCHES: PAYSAGES POITEVINS (2015)
‘Conches is a naturalistic journey towards abstraction, playing with the reflection of the Automne sky on the water of Garenne Canal (South-West of France). Through reverse engineering and expert manipulation of the encoding and storage technologies of digital video, Jacques Perconte crafts magical landscapes as colorful fairytales. Following the current, the whole landscape is transformed pixel by pixel at the rhythm of the compression’s vibrations. The trees surrounding the canals change their colors, everything merge and sometimes disappear. On the quiet water, the image enchants us and reveals the environment as if we could see its inner side composing shapes and shades.’ — JP
ETTRICK: SCOTTISH BORDERS (2015)
‘Made over the course of several visits to the Scottish Borders by the French artist filmmaker Jacques Perconte, the film interrogates the Scottish borders unique heritage: sheep farming, fabrics, the woolen mill tradition and our unique landscapes are all rendered in an impressionistic arc of colour and movement. The path we drive leads to the heart of the Ettrick Forest, a dive into a textile world. A land where man, machinery and nature deal with a complex relationship that draws their future. Slipping through poetry, between the brutality of matter and the sublime landscape, we experience a penetrating vision that embodies the stability of our deep desire to live in peace. Spectators are aware of the impotence of our movements, and we know that nature will find its way.
‘This visually captivating observational documentary of Scotland offers not only images of the rugged landscape, meadows, extensive forests and windmills, but also a detailed study of the meticulous handiwork completed at the local textile mill. Through exploring the nature of the digital record that captures the shape of the landscape, the film identifies images that reflect local everyday life. The physical movement through the area is also a journey into the imagery, which gradually disintegrates into particles of colour and shifting surfaces, subsequently reassembling back into the contours that change as a result of weather and time. Through the emphasis placed on colours and flow in calm compositions, the symbols of the traditional life in the region are revealed.’ — JP
HYPERSOLEILS: HAUTE NORMANDIE (2014)
‘Musician Jean-Benoît Dunckel, one half of the band AIR, and filmmaker Jacques Perconte, who works with Jeff Mills, an artist known for his colors and landscapes, who sculpts with his digital palette. Together, they created especially for the opening of the festival, a dialogue between improvisation and high-speed chase. Normandy’s wooded countryside, magnified for the occasion, turns into a thousand suns rise and dazzle us.’ — JP
MISTRAL, RIBIÈRA: MISTRAU E AIGO DOUÇO (2014)
‘The infinity of a landscape out of the ordinary, a descent by canoe from the gorges of Ardeche. The image is housed in a stone vault in a sacred place.’ — JP
COLORAMA: KHZ (2014)
‘Directed during a series of experiments with Vidal Bini, Caroline Allaire (dancers and choreographers) and Nicolas Clauss at the spinning in 2014. This film-fragment remained as a precious stone born from the crystallization of the intensity of this research around the performance and the image.’ — JP
EXTENSION SAUVAGE: MADEIRA (2013)
‘Performance created with Jeff Mills for the Wild Extension Festival in 2013.
Played alternately with Jeff Mills (electronica), Hélène Breshand (harp), Eddie Ladoire (electronica), Yann Péchin (guitar), Julien Ribeill (guitar) and Éric Maria Couturier (cello).’
IMPRESSIONS: HAUTE NORMANDIE (2012)
‘A film about the magic power of nature. A journey to the heart of impressionistic Normandy. A colorfull stroll in search of light and time.’ — JP
p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Well, I very much agree, although apparently David Sedaris moved to London or somewhere. ** Sypha, Happy you dug it. Wow, interesting, the Jung stuff, thank you. I … don’t think I’ve ever actually read him. He was kind of a ‘go-to’ thinker in the hippie days, and I think that put a force shield around him in my brain. Yes, I am making the mini-golf post now, and I will be sure to feature Steamboat Landing. It looks quirky sweet. Thanks again! ** Damien Ark, Hi, man. Sorry you got caught in the bizarre comment posting glitch this blog seems to be randomly cursed with. SF, enjoy! I love winter, but I grew up in LA where it was just some delectable looking white stuff on the tops of nearby mountains. Hm, publisher recommendations. I’ve been very impressed by the daring of and books put out by Inside the Castle lately. I would try them for one. And I’ll think further. Thanks for telling your NYC friend about the film. If he’s very dangerous person, but friendly at the same time, he might be a good fit for the film. Take care, bud. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Oh, well, then care to solve the mystery? Yeah, like I said, I’m from LA where seasons are just a slight wavering to and fro from sunny and warm, so winter, at least, is kind of like getting a few months pass to a Paris-shaped amusement park maybe. I haven’t seen that Godard, and obviously I want to. Good news from the AV Club meeting, I hope? Yeah, understood, gotcha, about the ‘class of 77′ idea. And it’s nice/interesting thinking about finding those records only after they’ve been backlisted. The problem with being a kid and discovering rock in the early 60s is that the rock pre-then isn’t anywhere as rich a resource, not to say there wasn’t genius here and there in the 50s. Ouch, about that heavy editorial interference, and glad it’s getting rectified. The reason I stopped writing for Spin Magazine back in the day was because that happened to me with one article except that they just went ahead and published the completely butchered/distorted edit they’d done without even telling me. ** _Black_Acrylic, Cool, glad my conceptual air conditioning idea had some effect over there. Viviane Sassen is new to me too, Huh, curious. I will, of course, follow your lead. Thank you, Ben. ** Jamie, Excellence to see you! I’ve been good, I think, yeah, now that I think about it. Oh, I’m restoring an old dead post that you made for the blog next week, jsyk. Thank you about the winter post. I’m glad my dream and yours got smushed together. We’re waiting for the written comments from ARTE before diving back into the script. We have tentative plans. The ARTE notes are very late in arriving, but it’s good because Zac and I are trying to use the window to finish our new film script. I haven’t gotten the new Body/Head yet, but, yeah, people with lots going on upstairs like you seem to be very into it, so I’m all anticipatory. Your hooray for music has an intentional twin, i.e. mine. Tuesday was reasonably lowkey. Gearing up for film script work, the arrival tomorrow of a visiting friend (the great artist Torbjorn Vejvi ), starting to plan an upcoming road trip with Zac to hit a few previously unvisited theme parks in Germany, and thinking and some doing. How is/was Wednesday where you reside? May it be as famous to you in retrospect as Beyonce. Hot fudge banana split love, Dennis. ** Kyler, Hi. Really, am I that original? Thank you. Me, I’m smoking and coffee-ing right now, which is not entirely oppositional. But no rain here. Motherfucking flimsy clouds! ** Statictick, Hey, N. Both belated and current greetings to you! Tough guy dealing with no AC in the dead of summer. Well, so am I, I guess. AC is a rare commodity here. But luckily the sky is only being vaguely sadistic right now. Excellent, obviously, about the success of the Harvoni treatment! Well, if you end being a hybrid, I hope it’s more Centaur than Robocop. Ongoing wellness to us both! ** Misanthrope, I think so. At least in the middle of the summer, I do. I’m really a logical person. When things aren’t working, it drives me crazy because it’s usually not logical. Post-game interviews with players are always the biggest wastes of time ever, maybe especially in baseball because it’s a cerebral sport that actually uses the players’ brains in a complex way. ** Corey Heiferman, Hi, Corey. I guess breaking an ice sculpture is vandalism, isn’t it? It’s just water, but, yeah. I think your karma is probably safe. I have been to an ice bar once in Stockholm. Nice idea. The practice of the idea wasn’t much except for the ice glasses, those were cool. It didn’t help that it was full of rich kid self-styled hipsters, I guess. I can’t highly recommend an ice bar, but, at same time, you don’t ever go to one, there’ll be a little gap in your knowledge of the world. Your characterisation of jangly rock makes sense and makes me want to listen to it, which is something of note since I’m not really interested in hearing guitars these days. I’m happy about your fruitfulness, of course! Ha, well, I’m happy to have inadvertently helped killing your dream, I guess. Although I have to say making small, strange films is mostly pretty great accept for the money raising part. Now doing things for TV is something I can safely not recommend one little bit. Have a good big W! ** Okay. To my own great pleasure and excitement, there seems to be a new wave rising of young filmmakers who are making visionary, experimental films and videos these days, and Jacques Perconte is one of the most fascinating of them, and I recommend you investigate his work today. See you tomorrow.