What you see is what you get

2018 / Generative video Installation
Digital contemplations Exhibition with numeric’arts
@ Abbey of Villers – Belgium

Data generated glass work

What You See Is What You Get is a generative stained-glass windows that provide real-time visualization of sociologically sensitive big data. It is an attempt to represent this relentless movement of good and evil, of order and chaos, through technological evolution in an archaic form: the stained glass window.

In the video projection: artistic interpretation of the data with generative particle work.

On the screen: explanation of the data used to create the stained-glass window, their sources, and their evolution, generally since this morning, in the form of counters.

Data “fighting” in the 5 stained glass windows:

  • Global government spending on education / on military
  • Expenditure on weight loss programs / Expenditure on food aid / amount that would feed the hungry
  • Desertification / Toxic chemicals dumped / Forests destroyed
  • Evolution of the extreme right vote in France, Belgium, Germany and Holland
  • Population growth on earth / births / deaths

About the work:

One of the challenges of our time is the visualization of overabundant information in order to make it tangible, understandable and accessible; the representation of information is never neutral and should question us as much as information itself.

Stained glass is traditionally linked to the pursuit of spiritual upliftment and pure beauty, WYSIWYG fits in this line. It is at the level of the message transmitted that the evolution takes place, leaving the christian doctrine to invite us  into a humanist and secular questioning.

“When I enter a church, and maybe even more in a church ruin, I am struck by the fact that these places crystallizes the dichotomous fight that remains in me, the fight between good and evil, the incessant rocking between two poles opposites and dependents. I am amazed by this inner process which is part of my education.  As I walk through churches, I confront chaos and order, good and evil,  admiring the stained-glass windows, gargoyles, sculptures of martyred saints, Christ on the cross eaten away by worms, Mary in suffering, of cherubs and dragons, works and architecture in good condition or deteriorated by time or by men. I travel this moving axis which loses its manichaeism in contact with the real.  How can this incessant movement of good and evil, of order and chaos, be represented today, thanks to connected digital tools and linked to contemporary themes, in an aesthetic as strong and sublime as that of stained glass?”

Stained glass

Stained glass is an opening to color, pure beauty, immateriality of light which is transcendence, a call to elevation and spirituality. We look up to it as we would look at gods for certain, purity for others. We also read scenes from the Bible, battles between saints and demons, shaped in a very codified geometry (rosettes etc.).