Who is Fred Forest ?

Fred Forest is a pioneer in Contemporary Art, with an artistic practice in constant evolution.

After being a painter and scketcher for the French newspapers "Combat" and "Les Echos", he devotes his career to research new modes of art creation with the opportunities offered by modern media technology . Pioneer of video art in the sixties, he is the first artist to create in France, at that time, a set up called "interactive environments".

He innovates again as a pioneer by conceiving several types of "press experiences" with a symbolic and critical intent. One can remember his "white space" in the "Le Monde" newspaper in 1972 and his memorable "artistic square-meter" media operation....

In 1973 he realizes several spectacular actions for the Sao-Paulo Biennial, for which he wins the Communication Prize and ...his arrest by the Military government. In his artistic practice, always a pioneer, he uses : the telephone, video, radio, TV, cable, computers, luminous electronic newspapers, robotics, telematic networks...As a matter of fact, he will be there again, as the first time ever, for the experimental networks of Velizy.

Co-founder of the Sociological Art group in 1974, he graduates with a Ph.D. in Literature at Sorbonne University in 1984 with a research on Communication Esthetics.

With Mario Costa , Professor of Esthetics at Palerno University, and Derrick de Kerchove, Director of the Marshall MacLuhan Program at the University of Toronto, he creates an International Research Group, with participants such as Roy Ascott, David Rokeby, Norman White...

He teaches Video filming at the National Art School of Cergy, and was appointed as permanent Professor of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, where he directs an internationally known seminar on communication esthetics at the Modern Art and Contemporary Art Museum of Nice.

He represented France at the Venice Biennial and at the Kassel Documenta. He has created several experimental TV and radio programs, like in Belgium, Switzerland, Brazil and France. In 1991 , opposition parties in Bulgaria support Fred Forest as a candidate for the Direction of the Bulgarian TV , with a ...utopic and interactive TV project.

Other spectacular actions are put together by the artist : "The Electronic Bible", the "Peace Miradors" at the Yugoslavian border, a multi-media action called "From Locarno to Casablanca love reviewed and corrected on Internet".

This pieces are symbolic creations, "works of art" of our times, with an incredible media success, and showing that art today is not only in Museums, and not just a question of business and the elite !

The work of this artist makes us think about the principle of communication as well as communication codes, the way they can be diverted, the ideological, symbolic and esthetic values of communication. Making a complete break with the past, Fred Forest says : "Art today needs to be reinvented ; new forms of Art must break through, instead of repeating obsolete models of the past".

For him, the role of the artist is to bring out in a sensible way how the present practice of communication and the networks attached to it interact with our perception , imagination, and representation systems as a whole. He also thinks the artist must lead us to experiment this new environment called : CYBERSPACE. Finally, Fred Forest sees the artist as the "Initiator", the one who was always there, yesterday as much as today, to make sense, to ask the important questions, and to introduce a spiritual dimension to life, a promised life that would otherwise be a "shadow theater", in a laboratory populated with ....electronic gadgets.


http://www.coda.fr/Hypermonde/Forest.htm (Theoritical texts)
http://www.netfr.com/forest: Book "L'Art l'heure d'Internet"