Artist’s Notebook: Nicolas Sassoon

May 28, 2013 | Marina Galperina

ANIMAL’s feature Artist’s Notebook asks artists to show us their original “idea sketch” next to a finished piece. This week, Nicolas Sassoon takes us through the construction of Headquarters for Computers Club.

Headquarters started out as random conversations with Krist Wood a few years ago. The Computers Club website was undergoing some changes at the time, and Krist offered me the opportunity to contribute to the new look of the website.

CC was the first Internet community I was a part of, and since this was all very new to me and I had a lot of questions regarding the nature of that community and its potential outcomes. The video Headquarters was a way to contemplate on these questions and as well as addressing them to other people. The idea of an architecture for the collective was something I had in mind for a while, but it never took off until then.

After a few exchanges Krist Wood provided me some inspirational reference points — like this super studio image showing a family on an endless grid.

Early on Sara Ludy also became part of the project; she helped me with the design of the architecture and created the musical score for the video.

At that point I almost tried to convince myself that the project could exist one day IRL, which was a great motivation to finish the video and try to keep a certain level of realism and feasibility within the architecture.
We started designing floor plans, Sara even created a pattern for a carpet that could be used inside the building.

Once the video was finished, it was embedded on the home page of the new Computers Club website.

Shortly after it was shown at the exhibition “Getting Closer” curated by Lindsay Howard at Fe Gallery in Pittsburgh. A year passed, and after searching for different potential geographical locations to build the architecture. I produced a second version of Headquarters for “Street show: The Things Between Us “curated by Michael Manning in New York.

The new version as named Headquarters Alternate, and appeared in the process of being digitally corrupt, on its way to disappear.

The funny thing about both of these videos is that because of the formal choices I made in terms of rendering, they both look like things from the past, even on the day they were published. I don’t think they were ever meant to exist IRL, and within their virtual existence they remain accessible. Both of these works were very useful to me, regarding what happens online and how it can communicate with the contingencies of reality.

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