Thinking about IoT differently: when art and digital combine to make us see technology from a new angle

On 26 October, three artists in residence at the Orange Art Factory put their works on public display. For several months, Agnès de Cayeux, Fabien Zocco and Olga Kisseleva have been exploring the notion of “system” in every sense of the word. This has resulted in unusual works of art that invite us to think about networks and connected objects in new ways. 

The Orange Art Factory

The Art Factory is an original concept within Orange that aims to support and promote creativity. It welcomes artists to Orange Gardens from the worlds of contemporary art, new media, performing arts and all forms of art that foster innovation (film, comics, literature) to contribute to the creation of innovative projects.

In concrete terms, Orange shares its technologies and expertise with artists who have been selected via a call for projects, and collaborates with them for a period of 3, 6 or 12 months. Working together enables us to invent and predict future uses and technologies while working in multidisciplinary teams and improving our agility.

This initiative may have surprised some people at the beginning, but there is a very strong link between the innovation process and the artistic approach, and they can be mutually beneficial. We really wanted to be more open-minded. It also helps us to understand what our business is able to achieve now and what it will be able to achieve in the future, with nature or with machines.
Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Executive Vice President in charge of Innovation, Marketing and Technologies
These are bridges of cultural democracy. The visual arts are just as much involved in this approach.
Christine Albanel, Senior Executive Vice President in charge of Corporate Social Responsibility, Diversity, Partnerships, and Philanthropy.


How artists were inspired by networks and IoT

Over the last few months, the three artists in residence worked with Orange employees on their projects: a mutually enriching ‘cross fertilisation’ experience.

Fabien Rocco has designed his Black Boxes, which make us think about the Internet of Things and the new relational interplay that it has established.
Find out more: Inside the Black Boxes by Fabien Zocco

Agnès de Cayeux, with her Underwater connections, invites us to go on a data journey as it passes through undersea cables. These links outline a new map of the world and the information that passes through it. And so, the virtual network becomes organic.
Find out more: Uncovering the invisible: underwater connections, by Agnès de Cayeux

Olga Kisseleva looked at another type of network, the Wood Wide Web, or in other words, a network in a forest. Trees have a communication system that works on almost the same principle as the Internet, with signals transmitted from one tree to another. In EDEN, , the artist has tried to reverse the communication by capturing the information communicated by the tree through the LoRa network, for us to then reproduce it through a digital piece of artwork.