The Philharmonie de Paris presents a major exhibition on electronic music through the exploration of its imagination, innovations, mythologies and its correlations with the visual arts.
Party is now over. The Philharmonie thanks all the visitors and people that took part in the exhibition.
At more than 120 BPM, electronic music sets the tempo on dancefloors around the globe. Originating in Chicago and Detroit in the 1980s, house and techno introduced radically new, machine-generated sonic landscapes inducing a rare state of physical ecstasy. Since the 2000s, Electro has claimed its place as a major artistic movement in modern-day global culture, from Berlin to Tunis and Buenos Aires to Los Angeles.
In today's atomised society, this category of music is far more than a sonic experience: it has become an important vector for bringing people together, building community both on the dancefloor and through social media and the activism of numerous collectives. Now more than ever, Electro is defining a new relation to alterity and to the world, notably in the visibility it brings to queer culture and in the expression of feminist resistance.
This first major exhibition on electronic music explores the genre’s imaginary, its innovations and mythologies, and its correlations with contemporary art. Featuring a soundtrack mixed by Laurent Garnier, it is firmly anchored in the present. The itinerary is the product of creative input and engagement from a number of the musicians involved: Kraftwerk, Daft Punk, Jean-Michel Jarre, Jacques and Molécule all appropriated the exhibition as a testing ground for their concepts and ideas.
Essential to the ambitions behind this exhibition is the strong visual identity achieved through active collaborations with leading photographers and visual artists, such as Andreas Gursky, Xavier Veilhan, Christian Marclay and Claude Lévêque. The scenography by the collective 1024 Architecture creates a jarring space—all scaffolding and moving lights—conjuring the environments in which Electro is produced and experienced. Which brings us, in 2019, to reiterate the words of techno pioneer Juan Atkins from twenty years ago: “There are no UFOs. Machine music is the only way forward”.
The renowned DJ Laurent Garnier was invited to create the soundtrack for the exhibition. He has created eleven thirty-minute mixes, telling the story of dance music from New York disco in the 1970s to the futuristic techno of the 2010s.
The latter, specially designed for the Philharmonie de Paris, is an immersive and luminous installation created by 1024 architecture.
Known for delivering an unparalleled sound experience at home, Sonos is bringing its immersive sound experience to Philharmonie de Paris.
From Kraftwerk to Daft Punk, exceptional loans
With trend-setting instruments from the 1910s to the present day, contemporary art (Xavier Veilhan, Peter Keene, Christian Marclay), photographs (Andreas Gursky, Massimo Vitali, Bill Bernstein, Jacob Khrist…), graphics and comics (Abdul Qadim Haqq, Alan Oldham), musical and visual installations (Molécule and its virtual reality installation, Jacques and his Phonochose), the exceptional quality of the exhibition's works is due to the generosity of the musicians and artists who helped make the exhibition happen
- Kraftwerk, also headlining Days Off festival in July, created a series of videos for the exhibition that are projected in 3D and broadcast using spatialized sound.
- Jean-Michel Jarre conceived an "imaginary studio" from his personal collection of rare synthesizers, paying tribute to the revolutionary technologies that accompanied him throughout his career.
- One of the most famous groups in the electro scene, Daft Punk opted for a form of anonymity early on (starting in 1993), a posture which they went on to develop into their general aesthetic, both visual and scenic. Drawing inspiration from the full range of pop culture, the duo borrows sounds, images and references, from disco, funk, hard rock, science fiction and art movies, video games and manga, amongst others. In 2001, they unveiled the centrepiece of their artistic universe: two robot alter-egos, which they compare to characters created in the past by artists like The Residents and David Bowie. Here, they present Technologic Redux (2019) an installation inspired by the Technologic video (2005), along with images offering glimpses into the secret fabrication of this universe.
V I S I B I L I T Y | female:pressure
Created by the artist Antye Greie back in 2015 aka AGF, V I S I B I B I L I T Y gathers photos of female artists around the world, following the observation of the poor documentation of women's work in the field of electronic music.