Thomas Tudoux

Residency logbook
« Battre la campagne » season, La Criée / Centre hospitalier Guillaume Régnier, Rennes
January 2016

RYTHME - Thomas Tudoux


Centre Hospitalier Guillaume Régnier, Rennes - January to March 2015

As part of the “Battre la campagne” [Scouring the countryside] season, the La Criée - contemporary art centre in Rennes is inviting the artist Thomas Tudoux to develop a creative project at the Centre Hospitalier Guillaume Régnier, with the people in the care of the Rennes and Fougères G04 unit. Thomas Tudoux’s artistic research takes on many different forms and invites us to cast a somewhat removed eye over our society marked by efficiency and performance. 


The residency proposition attracted Thomas Tudoux’s attention for a precise reason: while the constant acceleration of our society is invariably presented as a necessity, we suffer it every day a bit like a pressure. In this context, the CHGR offers the persons in its care a clear break in this pace of life. This imposed pause, be it wanted or imposed, is the basis of the research developed during the residency: the people in the G04 unit are invited to describe this alternative rhythm. 


To describe this pace of life, the participants are invited to make notes about what they are doing, seeing and thinking, every 30 minutes throughout a day. The goal is to describe the infra-ordinary: not fix on the event, the remarkable, but factually describe what happens during this lapse of time. 



The period to be described is short, and the note-taking should also be short. So we are borrowing from the short forms used today in the new technologies and in micro-blogging. So the note is reduced and the tools diversified. Five days are described, one per tool: 

-Tweet (brief messages limited to 140 characters); 
-Instagram (application and photograph sharing service); 
-Vine (application and sharing service for 6 second looped video); 
-Smiley (short symbolic depiction of an emotion used in the text); 
-GPS (global positioning system).


The pooling of all the data gathered makes it possible to obtain a polyphonic and multimedia log of the G04 unit..


RYTHM, by Thomas Tudoux 

My interest in this type of institution (a hospital centre) lies in the complete upheaval of the restriction of time brought about by our society. My very strict plastic choices are there to signify this ubiquitous though different setting. By way of this exercise, however, the general feeling of the people in care seems, it just so happens, to be a re-appropriation of their time, with each one of them giving his or her personal vision, trying every half an hour to present their daily round through specific aesthetic factors, or creations. For these people, within the actual framework of a plastic constraint, what is involved is casting a particular gaze over their environment and becoming slightly more involved in it. In concrete terms, it is a matter of writing a journal, not of a journey, but of a stopover. 

The low-tech social network set up for the residency was initially conceived to respond to the imperative of creating short forms—we may note here the paradox of using simulacra of hyperactive tools to describe a pace of life which is not hyperactive . It is only once all the data have been gathered that I really had the sensation of having created a kind of Big Data. But well removed from this type of surveillance, Rhythm GPS (for example) seems to me closer to the poetry of Deligny’s roaming lines, insomuch as it proposes another narrative possibility. On taking a closer look at it we can note that the elements produced here do not link up with the narcissistic representations which are commonly found as a main method of interaction of social networks. Everything is done by hand, together, based on notebooks and simple tools, in a climate of trust. Based on the personal, and even the private, a collective project is the end result. 

So all these accumulated data are not there to be analyzed, but to make a different narrative, reflecting on our rhythms of life by asking ourselves what we want to do with our time, what we can do with our time and, lastly, what we are doing with our time. 

In Rhythm, as in almost all my work hitherto, my attention is focused on constraint, social pressure, and individual stress. In an upcoming project, I would like to change positions and, on the contrary, work on liberated time, with an interest, for example, in retired persons as people liberated from employment. 

During his residency, the artist presented the installation Rhythm-log book (from 2 April to 14 June 2015 in the waiting room of the G04 unit of the CHGR); he then produced the Rhythm edition which condenses all the data gathered in the form of an edition which can be developed to make an installation. 

This project is part and parcel of the Convention Culture Santé of La Criée and the CHGR. It enjoys the support of the Ministry of Culture and Communication/the DRAC Bretagne and the Agence Régionale de Santé (ARS) Bretagne.