United Land is a global photography and visual arts project that explores the notion of territoriality and man’s psychoses when confronted with the possible disappearance of his vital space.
Througout the 21st century, man, with his never-ending drive to control his living environment, finds himself facing the pos¬sibility of a temporary existence as well as the potentiality that life on earth could end progressively or even abruptly. We are living this era with a conscious or subconscious long-term insecurity, making it difficult to project into the future.
The result is an acceleration of our lifestyles as well as a palliative desire for constructing urgent and short-term projects.
Our post-modern society has been defined by the shattering and disintegration of Progress as a fundamental value accepted as a general and federating idea – and is now being forced into an awareness of the serious problems caused by socio-economic and environmental deregulation.
The productivism paradigm has made us realise the fragility of our physical and psychological vital spaces.
United Land represents an instant of time where activity and movement are halted and human effort is subjected to contem¬plation thanks to utopic underwater landscapes that are definitively unaffected by outside influences with the exception of marine erosion.
Symbolising man’s loss of control of the environment, water becomes a regulating vector replacing man’s habitat following a hypothetical ice thaw. Through this immersion the idea of belonging to a political and human territory loses all meaning and becomes an abstract. The different exposures taken all over the world are identifiable but in United Land only the longitude/latitude co-ordinates are recognised – the photographs do not belong to any geopolitical identity.
The projet, without calling for an ecological interrogation engages on the capacity of man to conceive of his existence under an adaptive form rather than an appropriative one or how to reassess the precepts underlying the functioning of contemporary Society.
IP United Land is a serie of photographic montages throughout the world, in resonance with the scientific theory of inversion of the magnetic poles of the planet. The project is articulated around the «Survival Map», representing the planet earth with a sea level higher than 300m from the year 2012, date of creating the map.
Every monument, building, natural element, exceeding a height of 300m is represented by a symbol and directs photographic mapping project Reversal Pole.
The theory of reverse polarity, fairly recent, is not questionable on the scientific point of view because proven, but its precise origins and what it can potentially result gives rise to several different points of view.
It was discovered in the geological analysis of rocks including volcanic planet, at different times in the history of the earth, magnetic pole reversals shorter or longer occurred. Two opposing views on the origin of these inversions: the first is a big shock type meteorite, the second is due to the bubbling magma from the heart of the world which could produce random magnetic flux capable of reversing the poles.
Poles move regularly present their points of reference, but we can not possibly predict today when a possible reversal could occur in the future.
IP United Land is a fictional research based on the theories of some researchers, one of the consequences of a reversal of poles long enough and the starting point of the project United Land.
In case of inversion, there would be a massive movement of ocean currents and the loss of stability of the ice cap that would move from North to South and from South to North, the amount of ice moving progressively be based and produce a rising water fast and steady.
The project depicts a fantasy picture of this situation moving glacial confronting our architecture by increasing the current level of 300 meters of the sea, it is a time T in the middle of a land procecus uncontrollable and unpredictable.
The 28th parallel project is a photographic and figurative work about different expressions of conspiracy theories. A fictional exploration of the boundaries of reality as represented by information falsified by an overhyped society. The contemporary, multiple-support image produced by propaganda engineering defines what is just out of reach of any instinctive or intellectual inquiry.
In the 28th parallel, 5 high-level graduates, being above the law and oblivious to geopolitical boundaries, control the world using modern media panels and the sublimation of images. These 5 people of identical appearance known as «sources», influence and orient policy choices, define global international rules, and affect everyone’s lives. A new « politicospirituel « order called «the guides» is created, built of electrons, with the goal of the reclaiming of the planet’s by it’s inhabitants. In a symbolic and phantasmagorical representation, these ghostly «guides» explore the cracks of the system and use their operational precepts and independent thinking in order to penetrate the international propaganda network. This road leads inevitably to the five ‘sources’.
By this allegory and this fiction, the 28th parallel comes close to the modern system of mani- pulating people, in line with the science fiction works from Philip K. Dick to George Orwell, and in a reality well rooted and close to the philosophy of our modern times.
Through this allegory and fiction, the 28th parallel approaches the modern systems of manipulation of populations, in line with the science fiction works of Philip K. Dick to George Orwell, in a well-established reality and not far from the philosophy of our time contemporary.
Cooling unit, 3d printing stainless steel, 3d epoxy printing
160x35cm – 2016
ICE CLOCK is a series of installations-sculptures combining 3d creation and refrigerating technology in an autonomous system of random creation / destruction of icebergs. The iceberg suspended under a glass bell partly melts and is reconstituted cyclically, flooding part of an artificial landscape supporting the room.
The sculptures modify their forms and appearances according to the time of day, the season and the conditions of temperature and hydrometry, and develop phases of condensation, fog, or flooding; which makes the project continuously changing and alive.
ICE CLOCK, in line with the United Land project, representing the planet covered by water and ice, is a phantasmagorical allegory of the ambivalent situation of contemporary man in his environment and of his ambiguous vision of the relationship between Nature and progress. Here the iceberg shows more than a visible fragment but its hidden face, its dark side, in a realistic perspective of irremediable melting despite artificial technological infusions supporting an ambitious hypothesis of equilibrium.
These majestic ephemeral mountains of ice are the ether of the impossibility of control of the elements present under the wear of time, and irreparably symbolize the disappearance, or for an enlightened mind the transformation from one form to another in a spirit of cyclic rotation.
United Land series
“United Land” is a submarine vision of a series of cities and landscapes from around the world. The images depict a man made water-rise that engulfs the planet and its landmarks. The series explores the possible disappearance of a human’s vital space – Earth. The project aims to conceptually capture the idea of temporary existence as well as the end of the world.
The photography technique used gives the impression that the shot is void of inhabitants. The water shots come from the artist’s database of images from French Polynesia during a scuba diving expedition in 2009. The two shots are layered and the final image is created through post-production techniques.
The artist uses this series to convey the fragility of our physical and psychological spaces as we know them to exist.
United Land represents an instant of time where activity and movement are halted and human existence is compromised. He uses waster as a symbol of man’s loss of control.
Artistic endeavors that set themselves the ambition of a globalizing societal project are not very numerous, especially when they are based on scientific presuppositions. François Ronsiaux, who is attached to a monumental vision of urban sites, has been developing his United Land project for several years. This project has given rise to several interpretations, including the nocturnal in situ projections of Paris Underwater made in the 20th arrondissement of the Capital for Nuit Blanche 2015. But its final version is a set of photographs realized in a dominant bluish tone. If blue light is mainly emitted by the sun, it is increasingly seen indoors, coming from a multiplicity of artificial light sources : halogen lighting, LEDs, computer screens and smartphones. This aesthetic choice also has the merit of linking these images to the question of the coming of sleep or rather of its prevention, since it has been proven that blue light » deceives the brain » by emitting the same wavelengths as the sun during the day. It disturbs the role of melatonin, the natural hormone produced at the end of the day and which promotes sleep. Symbolically, the announcement of this blue hour of a humanity anesthetized by its technologies prepares the ground for a change of the territories of life.
One can precisely define utopia in terms of « imaginary territory, perfectly organized where there is harmony between the inhabitants; we know that, by extension, it constitutes itself as a model for an audacious and ideal revolutionary project ». Oscar Wilde affirmed its primordial character : « No map of the world is worthy of a look if the country of utopia is not included ». One of the physical forms often used to materialize it is the island. We can see the foundation of this in Thomas More’s Utopia, his island, difficult to access, is made up of 54 fortified cities, rigorously identical : « Whoever knows this city knows them all, because they are all exactly the same, as much as the nature of the place allows it ». This insular and serial character finds an heir in Philippe Calandre’s works, such as Isola Nova (2012) as well as in the suites of this general architectural and rural project.
In 2014, the Luxembourg artist Bert Theis (1952-2016) produced a series of large-format photomontages based on aerial views of the cities of Milan, Munich, Paris, Tirana and Turin, where nature invades all urban spaces to turn them into a kind of « urban jungle ». He wrote : « Proposed as a counterpoint to the urban transformation processes and the real estate speculation operations that accompany them, these « agglovilles » intend to demonstrate that another city is possible, because its image is possible. ».
The proof by the image, its demonstrative role, is also what guides François Ronsiaux’s artistic production. The general purpose is more akin to dystopia, which consists in « projecting, as opposed to utopia, what the author fears rather than what he wants ». Today, dystopia is above all a literary genre, a subfield of science fiction that also inspires visual artists to project into a future from an undesirable present. « Both test the limits of reality, utopia approaches an ideal that it rarely achieves – stopped by the real world – and dystopia makes visible different breaking points and vulnerabilities » Michael D. GORDIN, Helen TILLEY and Gyan PRAKASH, in Utopia / Dystopia : conditions of historical possibility.
Both are considering globalizing solutions. Thus we can see in United land the double heritage of two series of the Florentine group of radical architects reunited under the Superstudio label. The general ambition would rather be allegiance to the continuous Monument presented by the group in 1969, which was intended to be « an architectural model for total urbanization ». They declared that « architecture is one of the few ways to make the cosmic order visible on earth ». This order or rather this cosmic disorder Ronsiaux considers as the possible continuation of a geomagnetic apocalypse with reference to the scientific theory of the inversion of the planet’s magnetic poles. The project is based on the « Survival Map », a Survival Map representing the planet earth with a sea level more than 300m higher. Due to man’s loss of control over his environment, water becomes a vector levelling the entire human environment following a feared global melting of the ice. The project’s predecessor can be seen in the series Rescue of Italian Historic Centers created in 1972 by Superstudio following the earthquakes and floods that devastated Florence and Venice. « Man now has no science other than that of his own destruction. The city is now submerged by the now contaminated river of history, which has been transformed into a tide of waste water. »
Nicolas Moulin claimed the influence of the Florentines, which makes it possible to situate United Land within a (limited) family of creators, linked to ensembles such as VIDERPARIS (2001) or INTERLICHTENSTADT (2009) which also stage new forms of monuments. These artists share the desire to work in a logic that runs through their different serial proposals. François Ronsiaux’s photomontages are divided between two colored universes, if the blue light is dominant, some scenes are marked by a colder atmosphere evoking glacial situations. In 2016 his more sculptural works of the Ice Clock are made up of a « Refrigeration unit, and 3d printing in stainless steel and 3d printing on epoxy ». The iceberg suspended under a glass bell partially melts and reconstructs itself cyclically, flooding part of an artificial landscape supporting the piece.
These different states of ecological concern about territories of human survival lead to the creation of what Michel Lussault calls Hyper-Lieux in his essay subtitled The new geographies of globalization (Seuil 2017). He links them to these particular climatic phenomena where events take place, he notes about them : « The contemporary world is increasingly marked by the importance taken by the spatial imagination of the disaster. » Because the term dystopia, which materializes these collective psychoses, is unfamiliar to a wide audience, one may prefer its synonym of counter-utopia. United land attempts an ironic approach to this globalization with a series of flags customized to the United Nation’s disaster blue.