THE HISTORY OF "PARCELLE RÉSEAU" WHICH BECAME "NFT-ARCHEOLOGY" IN 25 YEARS ...
When I made this acrylic painting in the 1960s, I was far from imagining the iconic dimension it would have fifty years later. I only remember that at the time, in a series of paintings, I wanted to represent the Man of the Future. But when I created the painting on the screen, this work became the main subject. First untitled, then it became “Parcelle Réseau” in 1996 and “NFT-Archeology” in 2021. It represents a vaguely humanoid form staged in different natural environments, where the painting, held by a person, was transported from one place to another, then photographed. Thirdly, this new slide of the character in question, obtained by me, was the subject of a new projection on the Table-Screen, from which I obtained a new slide which was digitized. .. To come back finally to "Parcelle Réseau" and its action conceived in 1996 in Drouot, it originates from an exhibition carried out at the Galerie Pierre Nouvion in Monaco.
THE WORK AND ITS CONTEXT:
The sympathy that had been established between us with Patrick Robin, owner of IMAGINET, the first French industrial company allowing in 1995 to provide Internet network access, allowed me to establish the connection from the Drouot Sales Hotel to Paris, to achieve this great world first online on the Internet ... “Parcelle Réseau” was visualized at the time on a cathode-ray screen, according to a scale that everyone chose according to their purchasing power (flat screen with liquid crystals or no ...) and its emotional relationship to the Golden Ratio. Admittedly, there exists in its nature, its composition and its very substrate, intrinsically spoken, this factual visual datum, but it must be seen more in truth a pretext for the development of a critical discourse than a retinal "object" in self. A composite, multimedia work of the “event” and “communication” type, of a new and original genre, more specific to the times in which we live, and certainly more apt than painting or Carrara marble to be the material. adequate for artists today ... The presence of all French television channels, and in particular Reuters, ultimately helped make this sale a worldwide event in Paris. The two buyers, Bruno Chabannes and Antoine Beaussant, were already partners in a company making stock market prices available to their customers through Minitel. The week following the Sale, the latter invited me to lunch at Le Méridien hotel to inform me of the fact that, following the sale, they had created a company specializing in online auctions with which they intended to exploit the event. Asking me for my agreement to be present three days later at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, where they invited the French audiovisual press to a breakfast in my honor. And where i would be presented as the artist of the future! The artist for his part was delighted. It was the first time he had seen the promotion of his work funded ...
In order to finance the development of N@rt, Antoine Beaussant called on two successive rounds of financing. In November 1999, the investment funds Galileo, Sofinnova and AGF Private Equity brought 23 million francs into their pockets. At the beginning of June, a second capital increase, subscribed by Societe Generale, Asset Management, various mutual funds and personalities from the art world, made it possible to raise an additional 52.5 million francs. At the same time, the acquisition of Publications Artistiques Françaises, publisher of the bimonthly "Le Journal des Arts" and the monthly "L'œil" was finalized. And the acquisition projects in this company were by no means closed. "We are looking very closely at several art press titles in the United States," Antoine Beaussant said at the time to the Economic Journal "Les Echos."
"In addition, the very probable disappearance of the monopoly of auctioneers in France gave new wings to N@rt, which was preparing to hold the hammer in France. Determined to establish its authority in the sector by creating an international network, N@rt even planned to create, alongside its subsidiary N@rt Inc. in New York, new offices on the west coast of the United States, but also in London, Frankfurt and Milan, and maybe even in Tokyo or Korea ...
The artist behind this success, it must be said, was in no way associated with these pharaonic perspectives.
But N@rt, in front of my insistence, all the same thought of financing a research laboratory on digital art by associating Bernard Arnault. But the affair turned out to be short-lived, when one of the two who was already working for the latter came back to me, sheepishly, to see that my proposal had hardly raised a single word from Arnault, if not, alas! than a vague gesture of denial.
Too busy with their abundant affairs to manage now, the two men and the N@rt company have tended to forget me, which is quite natural, and to turn for their operations to more prominent, more institutional artists of the world. market and FIAC. Or towards Arman, in whose studio in New York, they had installed a webcam that allowed him to watch him paint 24 hours a day.
It is true that I did not belong to the same world from the start, and that this separation is done little by little, quite naturally. The prospect today of the sale of “NFT-Archeology” 25 years after that of “Parcelle Réseau”, led me out of curiosity to find out what had become of them.
The younger of the two has created a plethora of companies, gaining prestigious management positions along the way, and even received the Medal of Chevallier of the Legion of Honor from the hands of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.
The second, with whom I had a closer relationship, disappeared from the screens.
I have spoken to him on the phone a few years ago to find out what happened to my work computer file? Unhappy! he replied briefly. You should know that "Parcelle Réseau" was taken away with the furniture during the seizure of our computers by the bailiffs on the occasion of the bankruptcy of N@rt ...
As I asked him to send me the certificate and its code for my archives, he told me to ask Antoine, his ex-partner. But Antoine, probably too busy with his new current affairs to search for this 25-year-old piece of paper of no value to him, replied that he would call me back, which of course he never did.
As for me, without seeing the usefulness of it before the invention of the blockchain, I still had my copy of the initial file having taken care to pass it from one Mac to another before the latter returned the 'soul.
Extremely confident in the future of their business, the founders of N@rt presented very impressive growth prospects at the time. According to them, the turnover of the company should be multiplied by 12 by 2003, from 3.38 million euros in 1999 to 38 million in four years. Operational balance would be reached in 2002. Cautious, the Commission des Opérations de Bourse decided to attract the public's attention by issuing several warnings, highlighting in particular the lack of historical accounts.
In 2000, the end of the game was inevitable: N@rt could not in the stock market because of an untimely delay in funding, and also for the causes of an unfortunate and resounding lawsuit filed by the Chamber of Auctioneers, N@rt had to stop these activities.
"Parcelle Réseau" is well and truly buried then, without drums or trumpets, having disappeared forever, at least we thought, somewhere in the cold belly of a lifeless hard drive in a wasteland far away from a distant suburb ... What should not be counted 25 years later, when its author decided, against all odds, to bring him back to life ...
"NFT-Archeology" was born today from the ashes before your eyes, a unique and unparalleled work, representative of our time, whose anteriority is unsurpassable, and which the future purchaser, in exchange for his sumptuous financing, will be able to take on and adorn yourself with its exceptional aura.