Marc Fichou’s rhizomatic work evolves without ever crystallizing definitively. It seeks to avoid its own finality and stay within the always open-ended process of creation. Fichou uses an array of media, in an intermedial approach. By emphasizing the dialectic between the media, he makes artworks that are in constant motion (literally and figuratively).
After exploring self-referentiality through reflective surfaces and mirrors, his interest naturally turned to video feedback. We use the term feedback whenever people have an exchange. But we also use it to describe electronic feedback, such as when a musician points a microphone at a speaker or when a video camera points to its own display. In both cases the output signal starts echoing itself instantaneously, and that, in turn, produces what is generally seen (or heard) as noise. But instead of ‘noise’, Fichou has refined a camera-screen device and found a way to produce images that are as formally structured as anything found in nature.
These self-generated images are not programmed and they have no referent. They are originals. Fichou doesn’t create or “design” any of them. Rather, he only ‘finds’ or ‘curates’ the works as they appear on the screen. Thus, his approach bridges multiple art-historical approaches. From a modernist perspective, he is using the medium to realize itself, in a way that only an electronic medium can. Yet in an obvious nod to the structuralists, he eliminates himself as the author (the only forms that are produced arise from the medium itself.)
But Fichou’s project expands beyond the perimeter of art. Despite the fact that technology is now fully integrated in our lives, we still feel that there is a division between the technological and the natural. Yet Fichou’s study seems to suggest the contrary: that nature might operate in exactly the same way. After looking closely at all the forms produced in his system one might think that a similar form of feedback—whether it is on the molecular or the cosmic level—may influence the very shapes and forms of the physical world that we all know. Fichou’s work demonstrates that if you take this a step further, you might apply the concept of feedback to thought and perception, too. Woody and Steina Vasulka claim that they explored feedback in their work in the 1980s because it is the best representation of the mind/technology relationship that they could conceive. “The feedback loop,” they write, “not only expands and flattens space simultaneously, but extends and contracts time in the same manner. This has implications for the way in which we apprehend and comprehend our world through various mediums.” But if we look closer, we can say that feedback might also be the best model for the mind itself. The two hemispheres of the brain are effectively in a constant state of feedback, due to both the nature of perception and reality.
Thus the idea of infinite loop has become a central area of investigation for Fichou’s practice that seeks to eschew finality and stability, and preserve the dynamic of the creative process beyond its material manifestation.