Wide Angle Consciousness.
The duo Art Object Oriented (Marion Laval-Jeantet & Benoit Mangin) aim to use an interdisciplinary approach to expand the amazing ability of art to communicate non-verbally. Through anthropological, environmental or biotechnological experiments, they try to understand the limits of their own conscience. Whether with the traditions of pygmy Bwiti, meditative experiences or horse blood injection, they try to overcome their understanding of the world and to transmit a newly acquired wide-angle vision.
The artistic partnership of Marion Laval-Jeantet and Benoit Mangin began in Paris in 1991. The duo, that calls itself Art Orienté Objet, places ecology, defined as the scientific interrogation of the conditions of our existence, at the center of its artistic preoccupations. From the beginning their output has included installation, performance, video, and photography dealing with the various themes around Life. This approach is inclusive enough to have led their work into the domains of biology, behavioral sciences (their work in psychology and ethology introduced a strong animal presence), ecology, and ethnology leading to poetic and surprising art that is both visionary and political.
Art Orienté Objet’s ecological concerns resulted in art which seems to have strong links to a craftwork tradition in which recycling and reusing are important. Their use of recycled materials confers upon their art an aspect of masterly tinkering. In fact, their notions of recycling also extend to already established ideas that they defined as ready-thoughts from the very beginning of their collaboration.
Their work relating to biotechnology has earned them a place within the BioArt movement (Jens Hauser, Le Lieu Unique, 2004) and they are often counted among the artists at the frontier between art and science. In addition, they can be considered as social observer artists or as anthropologist artists who promote experimentation on systems that they formally analyze. Furthermore, Marion Laval-Jeantet faces these issues head on as a professional practitioner of ethnology and psychology. Their modus operandi is to gain life experiences from a direct immersion in a “field of experience” upon which they base the creation of a transmittable Vision and an “active object.”
In their quest to promote art that resists systems which limit artists only to the role of creators of artworks, Art Orienté Objet have, from the start, partook in activities of research, teaching, and activism on a parallel track to their artwork production. They have also organized art exhibitions, notably the “Worldwatchers” project, which focuses on the theme of art and the environment and which has taken place on an international level in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres for over ten years (in Benin, Cameroon, France, Norway, etc.)