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Béatrice Lartigue - Digital Artist

31 March 2022 Portraits
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You graduated from Gobelins in 2008 as a multimedia designer and director. Can you tell us about your career?


Before Gobelins, I graduated from a Spatial Design BTS and one year of Web Design training, then I worked as a freelancer for a year, I created graphic charts for various websites. At which point I decided I wanted more responsibilities, so to widen my area of expertise I enrolled in Gobelins.

 

After graduation I was junior artistic director for a year at Hyptique, a company specialized in multimedia realization and conception for museums. At the same time, I set up a collective with former classmates : the Lab212, then I continued my freelance career within this collective, as an artist.

 

I work on self-produced projects that we later show at digital arts festivals and on commissions by private companies or institutions.

 

I also give classes at Gobelins, Estienne and ECAL on interactive devices conception.

 


What is the story of the Lab212 collective, you created it initially for a project at school, is that right?


Yes, we called it the Lab212 because it was the number of our classroom at the time, on the Saint Marcel campus. The classes mixed all kind of different people, which allowed for the creation of more interesting projects, we enjoyed this approach and we liked experimenting with things, hence the “Lab”.

 

The project was birthed by nine people, eight from my class (2008) and one graduate from the 2009 class. The collective is still active but all the members aren’t participating full time. Some moved overseas or have a family now. These days the collective is mostly centered around three people who are constantly active: Pierre Thirion, Nicolas Guichard, and me. The others (Jonathan Blanchet, Juliette Champain, François Chay, Cyril Diagne, Erik Escoffier et Tobias Muthesius ) intervene occasionally.

 

We have chosen not to have a legal status to maintain our freedom and be able to move way or take pauses to work on other projects. At first, it was friendship that created the collective then it was the projects that made it last. We never did work at nine at a time, but rather in teams or two or three per installation. 

 

Nebula

Nebula, Lab 212

Lightness, Lab212

 

What kind of installations are you working on? What is your creative process?


Essentially, I work on physical installations that use new media that are integrated at a location (museums, exhibitions, institutions…). Our creations are interactive, they evolve according to the actions of the audience. We have a very intuitive approach when it comes to design; users have to be able to easily understand how to use the apparatus. Take Starfield for example, a project thought up by Cyril Diagne, the idea was very simple: visitors would sit down on a swing, which would trigger the apparition of a moving starlit sky. 


The core of our projects is often a memory or a powerful emotion that we try to transcribe through the installation, by integrating the technical constraints of the show location. 


We also participate in a lot of contests, it allows us to have a frame and to secure funds, for example, we have answered a call for projects by Google and the Barbican Center in 2014 which allowed our work to be shown within the museum and we have participated to a haïku contest proposed by Arte in which we’ve managed to earn a fellowship.

 

 


What projects are you currently working on ? 


We are developing a monumental installation in relation to space called Novae whose goal is to recreate the feeling of a summer night (with stars, the melody of crickets…). It’s a commission by the MiSK foundation in Saudi Arabia, within the frame of an exhibit on the theme of nostalgia. It will take place from October 2022 to January 2023.

 

Next to that we’re working on Ombres Blanches, a project for which we are still gathering funds, that explores the theme of wifi waves and 5G in public areas.

 

And last but not least, I’m finalizing Astéria, a permanent light installation in Toulouse, in collaboration with PPA and Scalène Architectes.

 

 

Starfield, Lab212

Portée, Lab212

 

What memories do you have of your years at Gobelins ?


I’m keeping very good memories of it, the school taught me a methodology that is applicable in various fields. The atmosphere was always very good, very benevolent, like a family. There wasn’t this notion of competition that is present in other schools. That’s why I teach at Gobelins now. 

 

 


Is the network important to you ? 

 

Belonging to a collective is a great strength, it doubled, tripled our contacts. We’ve all worked for companies in which we did our work-linked course. The collective allowed us to create projects, to create our network, to obtain funds.

 

We have also participated in or attended a lot of conferences and workshops, which allowed us to meet professionals in our field but also complementary fields like museum curators for examples. You should not hesitate to contact people whose work you admire to try and get an internship or offer a collaboration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview by Sophie Jean




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