Interview with Gilles Boenisch

Gilles Boenisch, digitaldefeat
Mar 24 2016

Interview with Gilles Boenisch

Both Artist and digital manufacturing expert, French creative Gilles Boenisch, PhD in information Sciences & Communication, accepted to answer our questions and let us enter his creative universe he named “digitaldefeat”.

Gilles Boeanish: Digital technology gives rise to ignorance.

Please Gilles Boenish, tell us a bit about yourself and your universe?

Digital technology gives rise to ignorance. For me, this ignorance can legitimate my work. It introduces a learning process involving testing, undoing, understanding, solving and experimenting. This is a way for me to meet new challenges, and discover creative situations, this is my universe.

Were you always interested in art growing up? How did you come to collage sculptures?

My work is rarely a pure discovery, but rather the result of intuition, based on diverse and multiple experiences, corrections, hacks, errors, faults, gaps, drafts, distractions. The Artworks I create are not simple sculptures but working digital machines. They make visible how digital technology affects our live, and sometimes, for entirely trivial reasons.

Do you have or have had a mentor or other special person to guide you?

My friends and my family have always supported and encouraged my work. However, I think my real mentor is actually my work place. The workshop takes the form of a private culture, where both the source of the condition and the purpose of my work are produced. Maybe my private playground is a response to my curiosity and my creative need, that make me produce even more objects.

 Your artworks seem beyond reality but is there any real-life situation that inspired you?

I’m dealing with ancient objects, from various recently-found locations. I disassemble them, trying to understand their mechanisms, and why they were abandoned. From this, I find the ideas and concepts behind the construction of my new narratives and artworks. The objects I collect are bizarre, strange, unusual, just like me…

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Could you explain the name of your website “digitaldefeat”?

The title of my thesis was “Dismantling, Diverting, Redirecting. Digital defeat”. My work is based on undoing, destroying, and getting rid of the dull norms of digital technology to ultimately defeat it. But “undoing”, really means “disassembling”, “dismembering”, and “dispersing” to better show up the normative functioning digital technology. In the end, the Defeat of digital technology is also a synonym of the “victory”, “triumph”, “recovery”, and “restoration” of creativity. This Defeat is my goal. This Defeat is paramount. This Defeat is my game.

How has your style changed over the years? If yes, could you explain why?

I don’t really know.   Perhaps my universe has become bigger and more complex. Every moment of my life, from childhood to this day, I have always had an artistic viewpoint. My every moment, gesture or look can “hijack” my mind and take me back to my Creative Universe. Over the years, my style has changed since I shift all the time between my artistic activity, my scientific research activity and my professional activity. I hope to continue to combine all these activities that inspire my creative work daily.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a dozen projects simultaneously that are almost all destined to be created in areas scattered throughout the world. At the same time, I try to maintain a pattern as each work leads to the next, therefore keeping a recognizable thread.

What is your dream project?

To make the world better, more sensitive and more creative. To make it less obsessed with success and money. To produce global non-profit collaborative works. To honor all anonymous artists by making their artworks more visible…

My wish is to be able to transmit my knowledge and passion to others, to become a starting point for new stories and artists.

Is artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

I am a consultant in digital and e-business strategies, co-founder of FabDataLab® a creative research network, and the founder of 3DPrintLab® a structure specialized on “engineering knowledge », « strategies and innovation » and « R&D @ Arts ». I am currently working on CNC micro-machine prototypes for children, and a Big Data platform for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. So, I am never really alone.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Anyone can exercise his/her creative sense and through it, build an artistic identity. I believe that one should never deny who he/she is, and should never give up doing things he/she loves. Artistic recognition should not be a goal but rather a consecration: it is others who hold the final judgment.


If you like Gilles Boenish’s Artwork and want to discover hir universe, I invite you to visit his website:

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