Digital creation

Gilles Alvarez, director of the Némo Biennial

At the Némo Biennial, we are always trying to explore every aspect of the civilisation in which we live, and the one we are heading towards, through an artistic prism.

In 1997, Gilles Alvarez founded the Némo festival, which quickly established itself as one of the major events for digital art in France. Némo became the Biennial of Digital Arts in 2015, and the 2023 edition, with the theme Je est un autre, is taking place in over twenty venues in the Paris region. As part of this event, produced by the CENTQUATRE-PARIS, the Institut français is organising a training course on digital arts for around twenty members of the French cultural network abroad. The aim is to promote French digital art internationally. 

Published on 30/10/2023

2 min

Gilles Alvarez founded the Némo festival in 1997, which in 2015 became Némo - International Biennial of Digital Arts, an event anchored in the Île-de-France region and in particular at the Centquatre-Paris. A graduate in political science and former cinema operator Gilles Alvarez has been programming innovative exhibitions at the venue for over twenty years, including Cinéma interactif (Forum des images, 2004), Regards caméra (Forum des images, 2005), Out of the Blue/Into the Black (BIAN de Montréal 2012), Troublemakers: Sensation Versus Digital (Centquatre-Paris, 2013), Prosopopées : quand les objets prennent vie (Centquatre-Paris, 2015) and Les Faits du hasard (Centquatre, Paris, 2017). The theme of the 2023 edition, Je est un autre, looks at the multiplication of identities, particularly through the dichotomy between digital avatars and IRL ("in real life") personalities. Némo ("person" in Latin) questions the notion of identity and its metamorphosis in digital spaces. 

Over successive editions, the exhibitions designed by Gilles Alvarez for the Némo Biennial have explored the autonomy of machines, the role of chance in digital creation, the fantasy of humanity being replaced by technological species, and the ability of art and technology to reveal the invisible. This year's theme, Je est un autre, puts the question of users back at the heart of the exhibition, exploring their usage and how they reconfigure identities. Madotsuki_the_Dreamer, by Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis, is one of a number of works that explore the fragmentation and expansion of human beings and identities. It focuses on a man who has 74 contradictory online personalities, spanning the entire political spectrum. "Thanks to digital technology," says Gilles Alvarez, "artists can now approach their stories like novelists, capable of stepping into the shoes of several different characters and exploring their many facets." 

Bringing together some fifty artists and collectives, the Némo Biennial will take place in autumn 2023 at twenty-five venues in seven departments of the Île-de-France region. The event's main exhibition takes place at Le Centquatre in Paris, and features a number of spectacular interactive installations, including Christian Rizzo's Avant la nuit dernière, in which the audience diffracts itself in its own reflection, and Universal Everything's Maison Automne, a randomly generated fashion show. In addition to the visual arts, the programme will also focus on the films of director Christopher Nolan, to whom a weekend is dedicated on 25 and 26 November. 

  • 1997


    First edition of Némo festival.

  • 2015


    Némo festival becomes Némo - International Biennial of Digital Arts.

  • 2018


    Les faits du hasard exhibition at CENTQUATRE-PARIS.

  • 2023


    The theme of the 2023 edition of Némo - International Biennial of Digital Arts is Je est un autre.

L'institut français, LAB