PARIS.- The Angelo Foundation is a sprawling multipart project by artist Angelo Plessas, a container for a series of events and installations ranging from robot poetry readings to an Observatory for Social networking.
In collaboration with architect Andreas Angelidakis, The Angelo Foundation: the Headquarters is an attempt to give physical architectural form to this complex set of propositions. As this random multiplex takes shapes, it will be gradually inhabited by the programmatic interventions of Angelo Plessas. These programs could include performance spaces for Robot Poetry readings, psychological evaluations for potential foundation board members, an Angelo Currency conversion stand, a consultation stand for Internet hook-ups, sensual multi-space installations, blog coalitions, sculptures, Facebook applications and various other opportunities and communications. The result will be a combination of architectural proposals together with web applications and spontaneous performances by Plessas and Angelidakis, sometimes taking the form of downloadable objects, while other times they will just appear on the Jeu de Paume website like an ephemeral flash for a few hours. These will be gathered in various media such video, image, links and flash animations under one website to be revealed at the inauguration of the proposal for an Angelo Foundation headquarters multiplex.
Angelo Plessas' (1974) work positions itself in or around the Internet. He is part of a generation of artists that grew up with Google and maintain a studio in their laptop, so pasting traditional media such as a drawing onto a website is for him a natural act. By turning the title of the work into a registered web-domain, he makes animated drawings that are at once electronic and unique, the image reproducible on millions of computers but existing only on its particular location of the singular Internet address: a piece that can be endlessly viewed, reproduced and copied and still exist as a unique work. Often focusing on the themes of authority and identity, Plessas web drawings become characters and portraits, alternating between funny and poignant, they reflect the abstract emotions often experienced in electronic communication and everyday misunderstandings. Works such as MeLookingAtYou.com (2004) are indeed portraits that owe as much to text emoticons as to Paul Klees naïve and complex emotional spirituality. These works often find themselves translated into objects outside the realm of the screen, such as murals, neon signs, paper collages or performances, and even though you cannot click on them, you still feel the presence of an Internet entity. That is because Angelo Plessas work is not a typical new media but is deeply embedded into the thinking of the Internet generation, as exemplified by wiki culture. On the premise that we are what we collect, Plessas pushes the boundaries of what can be considered a portrait by configuring portraits of imaginary characters rendered as YouTube and Flickr accounts (youtube.com/perfectionseeker07). Recently the themes of identity, and authority have become more established in Plessas work especially with projects such as The Angelo Foundation, a typical Internet start-up as a platform for a number of projects ranging from Manifesto declarations, Robot Poetry Readings and the production of its own currency via the Bank of Angelo (We give you money, we want your love, 2008). These projects paste together aspects of ceremonial authority demonstrations sabotaged by the anarchy of Internet culture, where the artist can become king of his castle, once he declares his domain and turns the world wide web into his studio.
Andreas Angelidakis (1968) is an architect working at the intersection of Internet culture and traditional architectural production, treating the Internet as a real place where social habits develop and transfer to our offline reality. Angelidakis maintains an experimental architectural practice, whose focus spans the gap between ideas and buildings, often using contemporary art as a testing field and new technologies as thinking environments. Over the years of developing projects in online communities such as Active Worlds and Second Life, he has developed an architecture that responds to the habits and particularities of the oncoming generation of citizens, like the kids who grow up inside social networking sites such as Second Life and MySpace. Treating the online communities as a laboratory, he has gone on to realize projects that redefine the term virtual more as a social and psychological condition rather than a physical aspect of a building. Projects like Cloud House are equally inspired by Internet culture as by clandestine vernacular constructions, and the result is always a speculation on how to redefine architecture for the current moment. Angelidakis work often combines diverse references such as Brutalist architecture and war bunkers with childrens cartoon and natural elements, resulting in an architecture that corresponds to the attention space of the average Internet user. His work takes the form of buildings, pavilions, computer animations on DVD, and 3-D prints, theoretical texts and virtual temporary structures, all designed to inform the broader experience of architecture. In 2008 Damdi Architectural publishing in Korea, published the first monograph on his work, entitled Internet Suburbia.