The Loot Bag Theory of Fiction / University Research School ArTeC, Paris 8 University Vincennes – Saint-Denis, TEAMeD Research Lab (FR), Photo:

The Loot Bag Theory of Fiction

University Research School ArTeC, Paris 8 University Vincennes – Saint-Denis, TEAMeD Research Lab (FR)

The question of truth in contemporary times leads us to consider issues of power ownership in a globalized, stacked and suffocating world: who owns the earth, what circulates on it (information as well as goods), to create the big narratives in which we live? Through practices of gleaning on the internet as a renewed attention to the small, the leftovers or the details of what lies behind a décor imposed as a truth without alternative, our proposal is articulated as a manner of faire avec (Citton, 2020). Faire avec can be translated as “doing with”. It implies a methodology in action within a system, and this is where the word “loot” appeared in our discussions. From simple screws to legendary weapons, “loot” generally refers to items and rewards players can collect in video games and are often at the root of the value system. In that sense, we wish to question objects or data collection by becoming collectors ourselves. In the gesture of the gleaner or the ragpicker, there is the action of bending down to keep what is left (grains of wheat after harvest, if we focus on Millet’s painting, for example), but also of giving another life to discarded or obsolete objects. With five artists and researchers from Paris 8 University, we have imagined the exhibition The Loot Bag Theory of Fiction, a direct reference to Ursula K. Le Guin’s essay The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction in which she suggests that bags and containers instead of weapons are the first survival objects in human history (Le Guin, 1986). In the hollow of our bags, you will find the looted object we have gathered and want to redeploy outside of their original territories to draw alternative paths within an imposed system of truth.

  • Chat Chouquette

    Chat Chouquette

    Vincent Bonnefille (FR)

    The idea is to create a thematic mashup based on various sources of inspiration. The resulting iconography is designed to immerse the viewer in a world of visual representation, losing focus, confusing purposes. Not exhaustive, this portrait tends to gather and collect content around specific hotspots.

  • Dispensable Loots

    Dispensable Loots

    Nicolas Bailleul (FR), Hortense Boulais-Ifrène (FR), Lorena Lisembard (FR)

    This proposal is conceived as a harvest in our fields of research: survival games (Nicolas Bailleul), GTA-like (Lorena Lisembard), and virtual worlds (Hortense Boulais-Ifrène). By applying various methods of gleaning objects in different online worlds, we aim to develop a typology of “dispensable object” by exploring the act of looting as an artistic gesture.

  • Spolia Mundi

    Spolia Mundi

    Angelica Ceccato (IT)

    By 2030, some private space agencies will have launched over 58,000 new satellites into near-Earth orbits, giving substance to the syndromic theory of Kessler-Cour-Palais (1978): a collision between orbiting bodies – be they artificial or natural – causes an unstoppable chain effect. The sky hosts a hyper-congested belt of debris and wounded, exhausted satellites.

University Research School ArTeC (FR)

Under the aegis of the ComUE Université Paris-Lumières, the École Universitaire de Recherche (University Research School /EUR), ArTeC’s mission is to develop and promote a hybrid of research and creation through interdisciplinary instruction and innovative teaching methods, two book collections and an on-line journal, as well as funding projects for research, publishing and creation. International personalities will also be invited to share their work.

Paris 8 University Vincennes – Saint-Denis (FR)

Since its establishment as an experimental university center in Vincennes in 1969, and its relocation to Saint-Denis in 1980, Paris 8 University has become a leading center for the study of humanities education and research in Île-de-France. Specializing in the arts, literature, human and social sciences, Paris 8 University has always strived to give students the best possible understanding of the contemporary world while providing them with everything they need to secure meaningful, long-lasting roles in society.


University Research School ArTeC (FR), Paris 8 University Vincennes – Saint-Denis (FR), Doctoral School Esthétique, sciences et technologies des Arts, Arts des images et art contemporain (AIAC), TEAMeD Research Lab, Doctoral School Pratiques et théories du sens (PTS), TransCrit Research Lab, Doctoral School Sciences sociales, Centre d’étude sur les médias, les technologies et l’internationalisation (CEMTI), Supervisors: Gwenola Wagon (FR), Annael Le Poulennec (FR), Artists: Nicolas Bailleul (FR), Vincent Bonnefille (FR), Hortense Boulais-Ifrène (FR), Angelica Ceccato (IT), Lorena Lisembard (FR)