Fragmentin is an art practice based in Lausanne, Switzerland, founded in 2014 and today run by three ECAL (Ecole Cantonale d’art de Lausanne) alumni: Laura Perrenoud (*1991, Lausanne), David Colombini (*1989, Lausanne) and Marc Dubois (*1985, Basel).
At the crossroads of art and engineering, Fragmentin’s work questions the impact of the digital on everyday life by investigating these technologies disposition toward control and opacity. Influenced by the likes of George Orwell, Eric Sadin and James Bridle, Fragmentin’s installations posit chance, randomness and the unexpected as remedies to control.
The studio’s artwork demystifies complex systems through form, interaction and performance: a machine engraves a digital message on a small piece of wood, attaches it to a helium-filled balloon, before setting it afloat toward an unknown journey (Attachment, 2016). Participants are driven to act-out a dystopic choreography in an experience which questions virtual reality as medium (2199, 2016). A web-app connected to a meteorological sculpture uses pollution levels to glitch selfies; sunlight intensity to destroy data and the rhythm of the rain to broadcast matching music (The Weather Followers, 2017). An atrium creates disturbing patterns amongst randomness, illustrating notorious geoengineered weather events recounted on a seperate device (Displuvium, 2019). A smartphone exposed to extreme temperatures reflects on its own inadequacies, in an environment marked by catastrophic climate change (Your phone needs to cool down, 2019). The latter two artworks were created for the group’s solo show at HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste) in Basel.
Fragmentin’s work has been exhibited in Switzerland – along others – at the The Mapping Festival (Geneva, CH), the Locarno film Festival (Locarno, CH), the Swiss National Museum (Zurich, CH), Artlab EPFL (Lausanne, CH), La Becque (La Tour-de-Peilz, CH) and the Haus der elektronischen Künste HeK (Basel, CH). The trio’s installations have also travelled to the The Mirage Festival (Lyon, FR), Swissnex San Francisco (US), Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (Montreal, CA), Rokolectiv Festival (Bucarest, RO), the Design Museum (London, UK) and The ZKM (Karlsruhe, DE). In addition to galleries, museums and festivals, Fragmentin strive to display their work in public and unusual spaces such as mountaintops and gardens.
In 2015, Fragmentin spent three months in residence at CERN as part of the COLLIDE (Arts at CERN) program. This experience has allowed them to lay the groundwork for projects intersecting science, art and technology, in collaboration with physicists operating from the Geneva campus.
In April 2018, following a two-phase competition organized by Pro Helvetia, Fragmentin’s artistic proposition was selected to represent Switzerland at the 14th Prague Quadrennial – the world’s most important platform for scenographic arts. “Artificial Arcadia: measured and adjustable(?) landscapes” conceived in collaboration with Kosmos Architectes, aims to evoke Switzerland’s hybrid transitions across natural, technical and digital landscapes. The installation will be approachable and dynamic, accompanied by a daily program of performances co-directed with artist Camille Alena.
In May 2018, Fragmentin held a four-day workshop at the Musée d’Art Digital, Zurich (MuDA), titled “Reintroducing Randomness: Artistic & Technological Urban Interventions.” Participants were acquainted with programming and were encouraged to prototype connected objects which were subsequently displayed in a 1000m2 outdoor area surrounding the museum.
In June 2018, Fragmentin was awarded a Pax Art Award during a ceremony held at HeK during Art Basel. This prize is given to outstanding Swiss artists whose artworks showcase or discuss digital technologies. The Pax Art Foundation acquired Fragmentin’s piece “The Weather Followers”.
In February 2019, Fragmentin participates in its first solo show at HeK, as part of the Schweizer Medienkunst exhibit with !Mediengruppe Bitnik and Lauren Huret. They will present “2199”, “The Weather Followers” as well as two new installations: “Displuvium” and “Your phone needs to cool down”.