What is invisual art?

A kind of art that exists in a form other than a material or immaterial work of art. A material work of art means a painting, a sculpture, an installation…. Immaterial artwork means a performance, a happening, digital art or an immersive installation. In invisual art there is no more work of art. With all the consequences that this implies. There is no definition of invisual art except the common point of the invisual practices, the fact that these practices exist other than in the form of work of art. Apart from this common point, invisual art are extremely diverse. Potentially within the invisual art can exist an infinity of formats, languages and movements.

If there is no work of art then there is no art. Isn’t it ?

Yes, it is possible. The notion of art has evolved over time. In 1870 art was figurative and represented the human figure, flowers or objects. In 1910 it became abstract, a painting being made of lines, dots and surfaces that no longer represented anything at all (The Abstract Art, Vassily Kandinsky). In 1915 the work of art was manufactured in a factory and no longer by the artist’s hand (The Ready-made – Marcel Duchamp). In 1954 the work of art was dematerialized (Gutai Group).

Why haven’t I seen any invisual art?

Because it is a recent and radically different art format from the visual art that remains hegemonic today. Moreover, invisual art is not visible in the places traditionally dedicated to visual art such as galleries, museums or fairs. It has its own ways of existing and being shared. Invisual art is not meant to be seen but rather to be experienced. It is therefore unlikely to be seen in art galleries, exhibitions or museums.

Where can I see invisual art?

Nowhere and everywhere. Invisual art is not an art made to be seen like visual art. It manifests itself and exists elsewhere than in places dedicated to visual art such as galleries, museums and fairs. Invisual art is an art of existence and not of production like visual art. It is an authentic art and not an illusory art like visual art. It is an art made to be lived. In this sense, there is invisual art potentially everywhere.

When I see a painting hanging on a wall I see art, it’s clear. But what about invisual art?

Invisual art does not exist as a work of art, it merges with life and with ordinary reality. If you are facing a wall, it is the wall itself that may have been painted by an artist, or built, or it is the route to that wall that may have been set up by an artist as an artwork.

For me it is absurd to think that art can exist outside of galleries, fairs, exhibitions and museums

You are right, because you believe that only visual art can exist as art. But apart from what you believe there are other things and other people who have other beliefs than yours. Let’s not forget that it is the artists who decide what is art. Whether you like it or not.

Is invisual art invisible?

We must not confuse invisual with the invisible. Invisible is what we do not see. Invisual is the art that we do not see with the criteria of the visual art. The invisual art concerns a visibility which does not obey the characteristics of the visual art. It is invisible but only from the point of view of the visual art. We can say that the invisual art is visible but from another point of view than the visual art.

What is not invisual art?

Material works of art: paintings, sculptures, collages, engravings, drawings, prints, installations, graffiti, land art, street art… Immaterial art work: performances, happenings, performances, video art, digital art, sound art, virtual art, multimedia art, immersive art…

What is the difference between a performance and an invisual practice?

Performance art was invented in 1954 by the Gutai Group in Japan. It has been diversified for nearly 70 years. A performance is an immaterial work of art that is announced in the programming of a museum for example and that takes place on a certain day from such and such a time. With performance art we know that there is art somewhere over a given period of time. The invisual art merges with the reality of everyday life most of the time. It is not dependent on the infrastructure of art to exist as for example the performance. An invisual practice is not necessarily announced in the programming of a museum, the public is in the invisual art often without even noticing it.

What is the difference between conceptual art and invisual art?

Conceptual art is an art movement from the 1960’s born in the United States where the concept or idea was more important than its realization. Most of the conceptual art are artworks that can be seen in museums and art galleries. Finally, the original intention was only incidentally respected in conceptual art. In invisual art the idea of work of art does not exist any more. If there is work of art it is not invisual art.

If I declare that my way of sleeping constitutes my artistic practice does that make me an artist?

Potentially yes. It makes you an invisual artist. There can be creativity in any human activity without it being art. But when this creativity is built and developed as such over time, the activity in question becomes an artistic practice and makes you an artist. And in this case your way of sleeping will be your artistic format just as the painting is for the visual artist.

But seriously, is this art?

Potentially yes. It makes you an invisual artist. There can be creativity in any human activity without an be anything: a urinal, walking on the Chinese wall, a cube, traces on a beach, graffiti on a building wall or tattoos on a pig. It is the particularity of art to be a domain of all possibilities.

If an ordinary fact of life can be invisual art then everyone is an artist?

Potentially yes. Anyone can be an artist under the following conditions: the person says “I am an artist”, then “this is my artwork”, and the third and most difficult one is “to make others accept this fact”.

If I understood the invisual art can be really anything

Yes, absolutely, and this is its asset, its great wealth. Art must be free as air and not rigid as stone. Each field of activity has its own specificities and one of the specificities of art is the freedom of creation. Without freedom of creation, without inventiveness there is no art. When we say freedom of creation we say freedom, when we say freedom it means that everything is possible, including anything.

What are the criteria for identifying invisual art?

Art that does not exist as a work of art is invisual art. This is the essential criteria. Just as we say that if our energy is not produced by coal-fired power stations it is green energy. The criteria of the invisual art do not describe the artistic practice, they identify it by differentiation of the opposite.

Who decides what is invisual art and what is not?

The artists. The artists alone decide what is art. Just as it is the architect who decides the architecture of this or that building. In visual art it is the institutions, the collectors and the investors who decide what is art and especially what is good art. From the point of view of invisual art this is an anomaly. One of the particularities of invisual art is that it offers artists the possibility to regain control over their creative freedom.

Why should artists live from their work?

If art is a profession, artists must live from their work, they must be paid for their work. Whatever it is, visual or invisual, ugly or beautiful. To live of its work is not a privilege, it is a right. Artists are no exception to the world. That’s why artists must live from their work.

A distinction between invisual live-process and invisual one-time project

According to invisual art state of mind, there is a distinction between invisual live-process and invisual one-time project. An invisual live-process is an entirely invisual position, on the scale of a lifetime. An invisual one-time project is a punctual action within a visual art path.

How long has invisual art existed?

Invisual approaches have been around since 1983. The punctual invisual actions exist since a long time before, probably since the beginning of the XXth century or even before. It is these actions, punctual, invisual, which preceded the advent of the invisual art at the end of the XXth century.

An open vision of art

From the point of view of invisual art, the work of art is not an obligation but only an option. Art of a visual nature is reduced to a single format, while art of an invisual nature offers a multitude of formats. According to invisual art, the limits of art are wider than the limits of the work of art. If visual art is one-dimensional and closed because it considers that only the work of art is art, invisual art is a multidimensional and open art because it says that there is an infinity of formats outside the work of art.

Is invisual art an artistic movement?

No. The invisual is not an artistic movement like for example the abstract art, within the visual art. It is an art genre in its own right, just like visual art. Within invisual art there can be a multitude of artistic movements just like within visual art the artistic movements that we know well. Just as physics is composed of two kinds of physics, general and quantum, art is composed of at least two kinds of art: visual and invisual. Each with its own complexity and movements.

Can I have some examples of invisual practices?

Art of an invisual nature can be something very concrete, physical, material, or even completely immaterial. An invisual practice can be a wind power plant, a run or a way of life. See some examples below. There are potentially millions of invisual artists. Here are a few examples:

Liliane Viala

Liliane Viala is an artist who organizes protocols within companies to disrupt the rigidity of the employees’ gestures with the idea of making them understand their mechanical gestures and criticize the inhuman aspect of the employees’ life in companies.

Gilbert Coqalane

Gilbert Coqalane is an artist based in the Nancy area. He is the creator of the Disturbanceist Movement. The disturbance is the action to disrupt the reality of a public space or the perception of its users. A set of disturbances constitutes an artistic offensive.

Bernard Delville

Bernard Delville is self-proclaimed “permanent artist” based in Wallonie. He builds wind power plants by asking parents of children in the villages where he builds the plants to finance the plants so that when the children become adults they will own their own sources of electricity.

François Deck

François Deck is an artist-consultant who works on decision-making processes. He has invented the “aesthetics of decision” which considers decision making as a form of aesthetics or artistic practice. He formulates protocols that disrupt the usual frameworks of decision making that are too rigid.

Sylvain Soussan

Sylvain Soussan is an artist who integrates the notions of liquid, fluid, ecology, environment and climate in his work. He is the founder of the Cloud Museum and offers products and services related to these notions. Through his work, he radically reformulates the notion of the museum. One of his flagship products is “Natural tap water”. These are bottles filled with tap water from Paris.

The Lazy Artist AKA

The Lazy Artist AKA The Another Lazy Artist is an artist whose practice is to produce nothing. The artist writes occasional texts in which she states why she does not produce anything. In an art world where production is the norm the artist adopts “aproduction”, an art practice based on experience and not on production.

Elisa Bolazzi

Elisa Bolazzi is an artist who acts like a parasite. She goes around museums, exhibitions and art galleries and steals tiny parts of artworks, which she calls microelements. She carefully catalogues these microelements and collects them. The artist installs Cabinets de regard in museums and galleries where the public is invited to look at these microelements under a microscope.

Gary Bigot

Gary Bigot is an artist whose practice is based on four principles of action: no production, no promotion, no profit, no ownership. The artist considers that art is a form of existence and not a work force resulting in the production of art objects that have no impact on real life.

John Bernad

John Bernad is an artist who organizes trips by asking travelers to write a journal of their journey. The artist considers that art is the experience of travel, of mental and physical displacement.

Ricardo Mbarkho

Ricardo Mbarkho is an artist whose major project is entitled “Lebanese Tabbouleh Day”. It is an annual celebration throughout Lebanon that aims to offer the Lebanese a moment of peace, beyond the cultural and religious divisions that plague the country.

Nicolas Rivard

Nicolas Rivard is an artist whose practice is one of infiltration. He gets hired to do “jobs” and acts by mimicry and detour, by re-appropriation of social roles. He infiltrates existing ecosystems to highlight his economy and his relationships as a device of artistic activity.

Invisual art is very abstract, is this philosophy?

Yes and no. It depends on the artists. It can be a state of mind, which is very abstract, but it can also be a wind power plant, which is very concrete. The vast majority of invisual art practices are very concrete, whatever their format and/or language.

What is this new form of creativity existing in everyone that DIAM wants to reveal?

Visual art limited to the work of art does not fully reveal the creativity in the individual. Visual art, in addition to being very limited, is elitist and discriminatory because it requires a lot of privileges and skills. Invisual art is democratic and accessible, with a simple gesture of everyday life an “ordinary” person can make art, just like in the example with the bed.

Does the existence of invisual art mean that visual art is dead?

The art has interest only if it is associated with discovery or invention. We have on the one hand an art limited to the art of visual nature, to a single support, to the work of art. A history of the visual art which exploited until repetition the possibilities of the visual art. On the other hand, we have an exponential growth in the number of artists. The combination of these two factors means that the work of art has become far too limited. Visual art is over and artists have to move on today, simply because the work of art no longer offers creative possibilities as it did in the past. From this point of view visual art is dead. Art is like the world, it becomes more complex and one facet of reality does not exclude another. From this point of view all forms of art are equivalent. From this point of view visual art is alive.

Does invisual art exclude visual art?

No. Invisual art does not exclude visual art. They are two different aspects of art. Just as in society there is room for everyone in all its diversity, in art all art forms can coexist. The emergence of invisual art can be seen as a complexification of art with the passing of time. Invisual art can also be seen as a reaction to the impossibility of visual art to renew itself. Everything has its limits and visual art is no exception. For invisual art we don’t know the limits yet, we will see it in time.

The invisual art is not a novelty, the artists of the visual art have already done everything

No, visual artists have not done everything, they have reached 10% of the creative possibilities of art. It is necessary to make a difference between what the artists or the specialists say and what they really make apart from any established criterion thus dogmatic. What counts in art is not the subject but the way in which one approaches it, the language and the format. If there is no invention in language and format, then there is no invention at all.

Seeing art as a game

We will compare art to a game. Once we know all the possible combinations of the game, the only thing that remains is to start again and again, to be in a repetition process. If the game of art has allowed in the past to invent new rules, new combinations, to push to the extreme the limits of the work of art, to build and deconstruct it in all possible and impossible directions, today its movements are exhausted. The only perspective which remains then for the art, it is not to look for new combinations within the same game, but to pass to another game. And this is precisely what invisual art allows: to change the paradigm.

Why does the invisual art exist?

The emergence of the invisual art is the fruit of the impossibility of visual art to renew itself but also the fact that some old things expire and others are born. The invisual art is the result and the continuation of a history which precedes it. The emancipation of the work of art, something that seems unnatural for artists according to the dogmas of visual art, is the fruit of the impossibility of visual art, that is to say of the work of art, to answer the requirements of the artists and their expectations in terms of inventiveness.

A political dimension of the invisual art

The invisual can be perceived also under the prism of a diversification of the art by breaking the monopoly of the unique practice, the visual art. This kind of art lays the foundations of a new state of mind that makes us see art in a radically different way from what the dominant ideology lets us believe. In this sense we can say that there is an evident political dimension of the invisible art.

It is not normal that an ordinary person can be an artist

It is normal. If we think that an ordinary person cannot be an artist, it is because we are victim of dogma about art and artists. The idea that artists are touched by divine grace and that others are not is a trickery. In the 19th century it was considered that women were inferior to men, that they had no right to study or to have responsibilities. Today this seems absurd but at that time it was the reality of the world. The artist is an ordinary person with his own intelligence and this is more than enough to formulate an artistic practice.

If I become an artist I will lose my profession

No. You can keep your profession and, on the contrary, develop your creativity within it thanks to invisual art. Creativity is not pure art, it exists in all professions, even the most rigid. It is your creativity within your own profession that gives meaning to your existence. It is better to be a creative baker than an artist who imitates other artists.

New perspectives for art

Art of an invisual nature contributes to the reinvention of art by offering artists a multitude of freedoms and new perspectives. Because art is inseparable from working with uncertainty, it is only after the work of art, in other words after visual art, that the artist will find this parameter of work, that is to say in invisual art.