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Day by day program / June, 2010



Creating an intrigue shared among the laboratory, the university, the studio, and society, publicly addressing the questions that arise via artistic interventions or the scientific imagination, testing the effects of a prototype through artistic works, is to act beyond cultural boundaries.

IRCAM exposes this peculiarity in a festival of "first times", a scenario made up of innovations and ruptures, a story of prototypes with unexpected repercussions. Prototypes by Michael Jarrell meet the language of Heiner Müller, by Sarkis who reintroduces the idea of randomness lost in Roaratorio by Cage. Jonathan Harvey's prototype and dream of a talking orchestra, Gérard Pesson's theatre of lights and a "sensation keyboard", a monumental first for Tristan Murail combining an orchestra with virtual and real choruses. The enigmatic nature that belongs to the artistic prototype, detected by Proust in Vinteuil's septet, to be an "enduring new thing".

What aesthetic sensibility, what artistic and political dimensions make up a prototype? Ideal without being abstract, experimental without being undefined, the prototype affirms the idea of profession, a new function, a finished attempt. It therefore escapes from three tired commonplaces in contemporary creation: the aesthetic of the mise-en-abime, the profession abolished from performances, and the fetishizing of processes, which has become a vague promise of established nothingness. Its implementation populates the artist's studio with a crowd of knowledge and unforeseen alliances. The brilliant "essays" by Monterverdi and the beginnings of opera experimented within the Italian coterie at the end of the 16th century, borrowing from the same tumult. The expressivity of the prototype reflects the wealth and the tangle of its genesis—this is the very eloquence of its program, as clarified by the works of Philippe Leroux, the philosopher Bruno Latour in his series dedicated to him at the Centre Pompidou. From a scientific or poetic model to a unique work, our prototype-cursor sketches an immense meridian, the possibility of a common perspective for artists and scientists, a shared duration.

Often evoked, but rarely carried out, the Science-Arts-Society Meridian will lead the first encounters organized by IRCAM and universcience — June 8 – 10 — with researchers, engineers, industrialists, and artists. On June 19, bringing together the studios at IRCAM and the large outdoor space of the place Igor Stravinksy, the final evening of Agora invites you to this powerful exchange between artistic intuition and scientific advances, proceeding by analogy, technical or modeling applications: like the system for sound projection (WFS) soon to be activated in the Cour d'honneur in Avignon for Shakespeare's tragedy Richard II, like the research on synthesized voices or the generativity of texts, used today by a writer, a composer, or a film maker. The passage from prototype to its generic entities perfectly describes the exceptional allure of IRCAM and is similar to an operation in the high seas. When Portuguese sailors wanted to venture further in the Atlantic, they created the hypothesis of the maneuver. "Volta do mare": the winds pushing toward the unknown were the winds that assured the return to dry land. How can one conceive meridians and prototypes without mastering this "volte-sea"?

Frank Madlener

Cover: Alain Bublex Plug-in City (2000) - Eiffel 2 (2002)
Épreuve chromogène laminée diasec sur aluminium. 180x180 cm / Édition de 3. Courtesy Galerie. GP & NVallois, Paris. © ADAGP