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Binary Kids Images Magazine no. 31, November 2008


These beautiful children portraits tattooed with computer circuits and electronic components are the work of an artist who, as soon as they emerged in the 1980's, was aware of the esthetic potential of the digital technologies. With his «Binary Kids», Thierry Cohen surfs on words as he plays with numbers. Products of the single alternative 1/0 of the computer code, these young people bring with them all the ambiguity of the software generation. The circuits, with their meanders following the outline of the faces and their welded connections at strategic spots, eyelids, lips or solar plexus, add to the already huge powers attributed to children by contemporary literature or cinema. Or perhaps they pretend to master their appearances, or even their brain activity, as did the good old Monsieur Duchêne of Boulogne who used the quite modern technology of electric shocks to give expression to the faces of his mental patients. The allegory created by Thierry Cohen thus asks the question without violence: what is the future of this humanity who worries about its own identity but puts in peril its very reproduction system?

Hervé Le Goff