Inspired by the Milgram experiment and by the book Neuromancer written by William Gibson, 2199 is a performative virtual reality installation, questioning the notion of authority, perception and control. User –wearing a white spherical helmet– finds himself in a minimal virtual world, abstract but rather faithful to the spatial physical reality around him. Thus, the platforms and chairs are appearing in both virtual and physical realms and are positioned accordingly. Users head rotations are also transcribed in the virtual world in real time. Without being made aware of, the user becomes an actor of the artwork, giving it life and assuming the potential responsibility for its success or interpretation. At every moment, he gets a glimpse of what the two others are doing through the virtual reality. Does the fact of being part of a group reinforce the feeling of obedience and therefore creates a cohesive choreography? When does the user become conscious of this trickery? 2199 is an unprecedented experience which constitutes a reflection and a critique of our vulnerability using such technologies, especially virtual reality, which is today victim of its success and is too often used without critics.
Fragmentin is an artist collective based in Lausanne, Switzerland, founded in 2014 and composed by three ECAL (Lausanne University of Art and Design) alumni: Laura Perrenoud (born in 1991 in Lausanne), David Colombini (born in 1989 in Lausanne) and Marc Dubois (born in 1985 in Basel). At the crossroads of art and engineering, Fragmentin’s work questions the impact of the digital on everyday life by investigating these technologies’ disposition towards control and opacity. Fragmentin’s works are often conceived as spaces for discussion on crucial contemporary topics and issues such as climate change. Through installation, video, interaction and performance, the studio’s artworks demystify complex systems and reveal the tension arising from emergent technologies .Recently, they have created –in collaboration with artist Lauren Huret– burningcollection.tv: a generative artwork for the virtual space of Jeu de Paume in Paris.
Fragmentin’s pieces have been exhibited internationally and have been acquired by collection of institutions such as HeK in Basel or the Art Foundation Pax. Since 2017, the three artists have been nominated to several art prizes and have been awarded the App Art award (2017), The Pax Art Award (2018) and the Prix du Rayonnement de la Fondation Vaudoise pour la Culture (2019).