French-Tunisian artist eLseed creates virtual collage on Zoom

French-Tunisian artist eLseed creates virtual collage on Zoom
The renowned calligraffiti artist depicted the words of French novelist André Malraux. (Instagram)
Short Url
Updated 28 April 2020

French-Tunisian artist eLseed creates virtual collage on Zoom

French-Tunisian artist eLseed creates virtual collage on Zoom

DUBAI: “Art is a pretext,” wrote French-Tunisian artist eLseed on Instagram, speaking about his first virtual collage that he created on Zoom, the social app, on Monday.

The renowned calligraffiti artist depicted the words of French novelist André Malraux: “Art is the shortest path from one human being to another human being,” on a digital artwork that was divided among 49 participants from around the world.

Each piece was sent to the assigned members, who were told to use it as a virtual background, a function available on Zoom that allows users to change the background against which they appear to an image of their liking, during the call.

To organize the final collage, eLseed allowed people to enter the call according to their position on the artwork.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I always say Art is a pretext. Yesterday night, I was more than ever convinced by this statement. Through Art and technology, 49 people from many different countries and backgrounds were united to share a unique moment of humanity. During this difficult time, what I miss the most is the human interactions that I live when I do my art projects. I believe we all have this heightened need for social interaction these days. André Malraux said: ‘Art, is the shortest path from one human being to another human being.’ I depicted the words of the French Novelist in Arabic on an artwork that I divided in 49 pieces. Each piece was sent to a person, all around the world. Then at 1PM EST time, on April 26 2020, everyone logged in with their respective virtual backgrounds. As the conductor, I just had to synchronize the participants, shape the final picture, allowing people to enter the Zoom call according to their position on the artwork. Each person was a single instrument playing a solo. Person by person, I could witness the artwork taking shape. I had to trust everyone to do his or her part so we could create the artwork together. Their part was to be on time, have a good internet connection and a laptop. It was amazing to see each person entering the room and to their surprise, being greeted by people from all over the world whether they knew them or not. There was an undeniable comradery that was genuinely endearing. The best part of it was not the artwork, it was the ambiance, the energy, and the love everyone shared during the call. This wouldn’t have been possible without the talented @aloeblacc who performed throughout the call, and the performance of the amazing Dutch dancers @norah_yarah_rosa . For over an hour we were all at the same level, in unison, sharing the same human condition. I didn’t realize what was happening until the call was over and the participants left one by one just as I had added them. Thanks to all of you who were there yesterday and also @tamir_ali_ for being an amazing artistic director , @hatem.jaziri @malikbettaieb @mehdykhmili and @ouahidb @dima_masoud and @bernardo_arnel for being the best team someone could dream of.

A post shared by eL Seed (@elseed) on

The artist likened the artwork to conducting a symphony. “Each person was a single instrument playing a solo,” eLseed wrote to his 133,000 Instagram followers. “Person by person, I could witness the artwork taking shape.”

“It was amazing to see each person entering the room and to their surprise, being greeted by people from all over the world whether they knew them or not,” he added.

The participants spoke for over an hour as they listened to US musician Aloe Blacc perform throughout the call. 

The Dutch dancers Norah, Yarah and Rosa also performed during the meeting.  

“We were all at the same level, in unison, sharing the same human condition,” eLseed wrote. “The best part of it was not the artwork, it was the ambiance, the energy, and the love everyone shared during the call.”