Cécile Babiole

Cécile Babiole (FR)

From industrial music in the 1980s (with the band Nox) to an exploration of electronic and digital cultures in our day, Cécile Babiole’s artistic trajectory has evolved laterally, cutting across the realms of music and the visual arts. Far from de rigueur interdisciplinarianism, her works move back and forth between one language and another, bleeding each code into the other in an ongoing reinterpretation of the relationship between image and sound.

Cofounder of the industrial music group NOX in 1980, Cécile Babiole rapidly incorporated images into the band’s public appearances : Super 8 loops, to begin with, then videos – a visual transposition, as it were, of musical sampling. In the late 1980s she produced “The Saga of the Xons”, which, against a musical backdrop of noise and with some very free references to creation myths, nimbly and effectively lampoons the conventional genres of animated and action movies. In her 1998 installation/performance piece “Reality Dub”, the windows of a bus are shuttered, sealed off from the outside world, in which ambient images and sounds are then recorded live, instantaneously remixed and broadcast inside the bus. Several integral components of Babiole’s approach are fused here in a single work : image and sound (treated together), performance, interactivity. In 2001, “Circulez y’a rien à voir” (“Keep going, there’s nothing to see here !”), an interactive audiovisual installation set up in a shop window and activated by the movements of passersby, explicitly and intimately interwove the ideas of interactivity and art in the public realm. Two years later the trio SSS gave their debut performance, injecting physical gestures into the production of electronic music : each player creates images (Cécile Babiole) or sounds (Atau Tanaka and Laurent Dailleau), though without any direct contact with their instrument : the first two performers used sensors connected to a computer ; the third made use of a theremin, an early electronic musical instrument that transposes interference in a magnetic field into sound. In 2007, Cécile Babiole came out with “Shining Field”, an installation of lights and sounds (controlled by a single computer program) to be explored in an ambient darkness ; this audiovisual experience is evocative of an airport runway.

As artist-in-residence at La Filature national performing arts center in Mulhouse, France, since January 2008, Cécile Babiole has mounted the sound and video installation “0.0116 RPM” (March 2008) ; “Mexican Standoff” (April 2008), a performance of music and images with Laurent Dailleau ; “I’ll be your mirror” (October 2008), a show for dancer and avatar in 3D with Blandine Pinon ; and the sound and light installation “Control Room” (March 2009).

In June 2009, her last installation-performance, “Xerocks”, turns photocopiers into music instruments, a création for Espace multimédia gantner (CG90) in France.

Related links: http://www.babiole.net/  , http://www.festival-gamerz.com/gamerz08/en  , http://www.babiole.net/spip.php?article98 , Gamerz festival at We make money not art , Cécile Babiole on Vimeo, Cécile Babiole on Transmediale , Bzzz ! Le son de l'électricité on Arte Creative Tv