Since 2005, Antoine Roux and Thomas Cristiani have been making books and posters, taking photos and designing web stuff together. They’ve also been experimenting with things – “plants, rocks, jpegs” – just so they can create things together – which is very nice. It means both their art and design has the same thoughtful sangfroid and is based on not a little mutual play. New work and a satisfyingly navigable website was reason enough for us to ask a couple more questions by way of an introduction to the duo.
What kind of experiments do you guys do? Are these design or art experiments?
We don’t think in terms of design or art at this point, it’s just raw work. We choose to work with a particular material (plants, rocks, jpegs), so we get as much as we can and then just play with it. Sometimes it’s a combination of medias or even really simple things. It goes from very random to very precise, depending on the subject we’re interested at the moment. For example, once we decided to watch movies with the wrong subtitles, creating new movies like Men In Fiction (Men In Black with Pulp Fiction subtitles) or Stranger Than Translation (Stranger Than Paradise with Lost In Translation subtitles), it didn’t get us anywhere for the moment but it was really fun and we got some nice screenshots.
What came first – the design or the art work and how does your process change in approaching each one?
Design came first in the context of our school. We became more and more interested in the content and naturally started to produce with artistic perspectives. Later we had the occasion to focus on art work in a fine art school and assumed it was possible to do both. As we were students we had trouble making the difference between art and design, they were connected, dependent on each other. We still don’t know how to approach either.
Are you commissioned to do the artwork?
No, our artwork is based on personal research but every collective exhibition we participate in is an opportunity to produce something new and interact with a curator.