Here: Happiness is the Only True Emotion → Clément Lambelet develops an artistic practice that mostly addresses images made for machines. In his latest series, Happiness is the Only True Emotion, which has been shown at venues including the Centre de la Photographie in Geneva, he tests the current state-of-the-art algorithm for facial recognition by submitting portraits of actors portraying the six universal human emotions, in a series of images created by a university. It appears that the only emotion the algorithm recognises 100% of the time is happiness.
There: Two Donkeys in A War Zone → Happiness is the Only True Emotion is also Lambelet’s second book published at RVB, designed by Nicolas Polli. His first, Two Donkeys in A War Zone, which was shortlisted for the Author Book Award Arles in 2018, is based on a project in which the artist extracts insignificant characters and situations from military imagery, creating a parallel scenario to war scenes. The series was also installed in 2019 in the exhibition A Chance for the Unpredictable at the Lianzhou Foto Festival in Guangzhou.
Everywhere: Collateral Vision → With his works, which were included in the touring Foam Talent 2017 exhibition, Lambelet forms part of a larger trend that critically explores our relationship to technology and images. All of his works, including Collateral Vision, Find Fix Finish and his current project Mathematics of Regression, on racial bias in technology, explore and confront the ongoing — and failing — attempts to reduce people to meaningful sets of data. In an interview for the online magazine Digicult, he states: “The latest technological inventions, the new uses of AI, do not fascinate me for themselves, but for what they reveal about humanity, its fears, its desires, its doubts… I think that at the center of my practice is above all the human being, the society he develops, his relationship to the other and to the world.”
Clément Lambelet → (*1991), Based in Geneva and Lausanne, www.c-lambelet.com
Education → BA in Photography, ECAL, Lausanne
Project(s) → Happiness is the Only True Emotion, 2016–2019