Artists: Bad Beuys Entertainment, Gilles Barbier, Claude Closky, Collectif 1.0.3, Eric Duyckaerts, León Ferrari, Alexandra Grant, Julien Prévieux, Michael Snow, Mürüvet Türkyılmaz, Keith Tyson
Curators: Isabelle Le Normand and Florence OstendeIn the 1960s, the philosopher and sociologist Ted Nelson took computer training classes to help him write his philosophy books. He was struggling to organize the flux of his thoughts. He was looking for a way to "create without constraint a document from a vast ensemble of ideas of all kinds, unstructured, non-sequential". He dreamt of being able to write a paragraph with doors that can be opened to reveal thousands of new pieces of information that were not visible at first glance.
He dreamt of infinite tree-like structures, of a super intelligence that would function by shortcuts and association of ideas. In 1965, Ted Nelson invented the word "hypertext" and thought up the Xanadu project that foretold the Internet: dreaming of a machine that would be able to make books available to all, everywhere, at any moment. The Xanadu project as Ted Nelson imagined it failed and he admits that he still notes his ideas down on little stickers that he classes by day, by week and by year, and that correspond to the different projects he has in mind.
Organizing hundreds of ideas without getting lost, structuring one's thoughts, classifying one's arguments: it would seem that the more you classify, the more the essence of the subject dissolves and moves further away. The exhibition Diagonal Argument sketches the portrait of a method that loses, searches for, finds, organizes and disorganizes itself, lost in the trap of its own reasoning. It is the story of a method that thinks it can control the maze of hyperlinks and the ramifications of our ideas.
Diagonal Argument is an exhibition that embraces forking methodologies, oblique strategies and the dizzying analogies.
As a tribute to one of Eric Duyckaerts' performances and Georg Cantor's well-known mathematical demonstration, Diagonal Argument is a zigzag-shaped project specifically curated for Bétonsalon.
Centre d'art et de recherche / Art and research centre
9 esplanade Pierre Vidal-Naquet
Rez-de-Chaussée de la Halle aux Farines