Donatien Aubert is a French artist, author and researcher. After completing his main studies at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy (MFA obtained with the congratulations of the jury – 2014), he became a member of the Spatial Media program attached to the Laboratory of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (or EnsadLab), specialized in the design of interactive, immersive and shared digital 3D environments. In 2019, he obtained a doctoral degree in Comparative Literature from the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at Sorbonne University. His thesis determines how the arts of memory, ancient techniques meant to spatialize knowledge, were updated in the field of man-machine interactions.
The theoretical and artistic work of Donatien Aubert aims to interrogate the philosophical, epistemological and political legacy of cybernetics in movements such as ecology and transhumanism. His first book, entitled “Vers une disparition programmatique d’Homo sapiens ?”, which tackles with this theme, was released in June 2017 by Hermann Publishing (Paris).
Donatien Aubert structures his artistic work (whether it be video, volume, installation, computer-aided design and manufacturing, virtual reality or science based projects) on research that led him to work with several laboratories, including the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France, the EnsadLab, the Labex OBVIL and the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris.
Cybernetics: From 1942 Onwards. Mapping the Constitution of a New Empire (Crates Version)
During the Second World War, a new technoscientific movement appeared in the United States: cybernetics. Bringing together multiple disciplines such as signal analysis and processing, robotics, neurology and behavioral psychology, the movement was meant to give researchers the tools to found a new science. They hoped cybernetics could give them a decisive edge in the fields of cryptology, geostrategy and the creation of tactical devices. Believing in the interchangeability of organic and artificial substrates, cyberneticians thought they could model consciousness. The reductionisms they introduced (such as the assimilation of the brain to a black box), allowed for the emergence of computer science and AI. Military R&D departments have embraced the more fantastical elements the cyberneticians invented. As the society we live in is organized around technologies developed primitively in this warmongering perspective, our collective representations of the world break away from this violent tradition with difficulty. Cybernetics: From 1942 Onwards. Mapping the Constitution of a New Empire proposes to challenge these transformations. It is an installation incorporating six LED fans, six interactive displays and a CGI animated short film. The Crates Version that is shown here compiles the videos that are presented within each of the interactive displays.