Fragmentin is an artist collective based in Lausanne, Switzerland, founded in 2014 and composed by three ECAL (Lausanne University of Art and Design) alumni: Laura Nieder (*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 towards control and opacity. Fragmentin's works are often conceived as spaces for discussion on crucial contemporary themes and issues such as climate change.
Through sculpture, installation, video, interaction and performance, the studio’s artworks demystify complex systems and reveal the tension between emergent technologies and society: 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 bursts serendipity into your digital life by using 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 where visitors can witness a rain creating disturbing patterns and illustrating notorious geoengineered weather events recounted on separate screens (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). An online broadcast of chimerical and non-decipherable images in constant evolution aggregates, with the help of filters, the five most viewed videos of youtube on a semantic field defined by the artists. (burningcollection.tv, 2020). A pyramidal sculpture and Virtual Reality experience - occuring at the top of mount Schlüchtli (2283m) - questions the integration of digital and infrastructural technologies in the natural alpine landscape (N1-Observatory, 2020) and finally: a series of still images and generative videos on the topic of Post-digital archaeology (Obsology, 2021).
Fragmentin’s work has been exhibited in Switzerland at the Haus der elektronischen Künste HeK (Basel, CH), Kunsthalle Zurich (Zurich, CH), The Mapping Festival (Geneva, CH), The Landart Biennale Art Safiental (Tenna, CH), NOV gallery (Geneva, CH) and la Becque (La Tour-de-Peilz, CH) and at manoir Martigny (CH). The trio’s installations have also travelled to: the Arsenal (Venice, IT), The ZKM (Karlsruhe, DE), Jeu de Paume (Paris, FR), The Kunstraum (Vienna, AU), the Centre Culturel Suisse (Paris, France), the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Art and Space (Prague, CZ), C/O Berlin (DE), Art Biesenthal (DE), The Mirage Festival (Lyon, FR), the Getxophoto festival in Bilbao (Spain), Cairotronica (Egypt), The Shenzhen media art festival (China), The Cello Factory Gallery (London, UK), The National Theatre (Londres, UK) and to the York Art Gallery (York, UK).
Several institutions have acquired Fragmentin's works for their permanent collection. These include: HeK Basel (Displuvium, 2019), the Art Foundation PAX (The Weather Followers, 2018) and the Mudac (Displuvium, 2022).
While continuing to exhibit their work in museums and to develop collaborations with galleries, Fragmentin aims to make art and its debates more accessible to the audience and more rooted in the public space, notably by proposing interventions in natural landscapes, urban spaces (Art for Architecture), inside a church or by creating online experiences.
The three artists have been awarded several prizes: the App Art Award at the ZKM in Karlsruhe in 2017, the Pax Art Award in 2018 at the HeK during Art Basel, the Prix du Rayonnement de la Fondation Vaudoise pour la Culture 2019 and the SAC (Swiss Alpine Club) Art Prize in 2023. In addition, since 2017, the trio has been nominated for several art awards: the Lumen Prize (2017 - 2019), the Aesthetica Art Prize (2020) and the Art Laguna Prize (2020).
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 February 2019, Fragmentin inaugurated its large exhibition at the HeK by participating in the exhibition Schweizer Medienkunst with !Mediengruppe Bitnik and Lauren Huret.
Following a competition organized by Pro Helvetia, Fragmentin’s artistic proposal was chosen to represent Switzerland at the 14th edition of the Prague Quadrennial – the largest scenography platform in the world. Exhibited in Prague from June 6 to 16, 2019,“Artificial Arcadia: measured and adjustable(?) landscapes”, developed in collaboration with Kosmos architects, focuses on hybrid transitions between natural, technical and digital landscapes of Switzerland.
Since 2016, Fragmentin has been invited to hold several workshops such as: “Reintroducing Randomness: Artistic & Technological Urban Interventions” at the Musée d’Art Digital, Zurich (MuDA) or “BYOP” at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK), "Hacking Nature" which took place during the "Alps Art Academy" in summer 2020 in Tenna (CH) or "Playing with the waves" at HEAD Geneva.
The three artists regularly give lectures or teach at universities and institutions such as ECAL (Lausanne,CH), HEAD (Geneva,CH), EPFL (architecture), the University of Art in Lucerne or the HeK (Basel,CH)
From 1 to 18 December 2021, Fragmentin initiated its first curatorial project entitled "Binominale": a new type of artistic event - inspired by the 1960s conceptual art - in which artist pairs from different countries exchange instructions on how to recreate or re-perform each other’s artworks remotely. The resulting artworks are then simultaneously exhibited – on site and online – by two partnering institutions in the artists’ home countries (La Becque, la Tour de Peilz (CH) and at Bass and Reiner gallery (US)). It encourages co-creation and the local sourcing of materials and production. By removing transportation, it also aims for a minimal ecological impact.
Invited by the artistic hospitality of Saint-François, the trio unveiled PARABOLES ulx-56834 in June 2021, a sound and collaborative sculptural installation in the form of an "assisted readymade" which was visible in the center of Saint-François church in Lausanne (CH).
Fondation Vaudoise pour la Culture
Swiss Cultural Fund UK
Art Foundation Pax
Canton de Vaud
Ville de Lausanne
Ville de Renens
Migros pourcent culturel
Arts at CERN
Hospitalité artistique de Saint-François
Swiss Alpine Club SAC