Sybil Montet

Text by Luigi Alberto Cippini

“If only because of the support burden, we can’t target every computer system in the world during the first few months. The current idea is to pursue the CPM (8080 and Z80) market immediately with all we’ve got. This means installing the Sierra Z80 board in lots of existing computers…”
John Walker Technical Plans, The Autodesk Files, 1985

“A limitless secret world of smoldering underground clubs where baby girls in bikinis wield Uzi submachine guns and Russian eskimos D.J. in Elizabethan court dress _ In 1989-however, amateur manga subculture and amateur manga artists and fans were suddenly discovered, as if through infrared binoculars, and dragged from their teeming obscurity to face television cameras and journalists, police interrogation and public horror.”
Sharon Kinsella, Japanese Subculture in the 1990s: Otaku and the Amateur Manga Movement, 1988


Met Sybil Online, 6 months later IRL.

Didn’t think she might enjoy speaking with me, we had a conversation on cgi background infrastructures, I wasn’t prepared – never truly connected with pressing themes / in a way I’m not in for the novelty, I can only draw interest from self-assembled references, inputs, and movies under mega-niche taglines.

She wore glasses, accurate – proper t-shirt.

I have a talent for elaborating and assembling research shows with zero access points for the general public – I met Sybil on the opening of such a show – no artist, no art, no sharing – She commented: It’s arid – it was a compliment. On google reviews there are notes from users that wished they could get their ticket money back – It was, as it is common in my parallel life as a curator, another iteration in using prominent institutions and killing their audiences – it was also a tentative emergency call at opening up such an institution to other audiences and including a new generation of viewership that are not up to easy and palatable content and that would relate to the backbone of such shared community.

Sybil belongs to this community – this piece is not a place for stand-up complaint – a network of artists that are yet to be granted appreciation by standard conduct museums – and that find an eager champion in off-galleries that are gracefully holding up in a dead city like Milan – one note being her sculpture being analytically displayed at Zaza’ Milano – a gallery started by Alessandro Bava, that is blessing Milan with international underground energy – proving that even if institutions aren’t apt for intelligence reports about the changing status of culture, blossoming new fields of individuals are not giving up on allowing brain-dead (high-end) cultural consumerism full monopoly.

Met Sybil again the night the show opened – the thing that struck me the most was the sense of comfort of that night – a 20 people randomly organized Chinese restaurant dinner, no outside preoccupations and the remote sense of stability granted by a sort of automatically generated outsider status. Sybil’s works belong to a new batch of cultural production – at least a perceived foreign one – it seems impossible to apprehend 3d printed alien-like aerodynamic small-scale sculptures to the status of viable artistic product, it simply does not fit – it does not speak any of that old language, yet the assumed unviability of her work by currents standards of object-driven exhibition etiquette make pieces tune with an upcoming de-stabilization of collections aggregative patterns. It’s not about historicization, it’s about the seismic elasticity of HR structured art-advisors’ positions and their upcoming collapse. An unresentful policy of ageing that will hopefully wave-out identifiable categories of rightful cultural belonging for an intelligence driven dogfight. A gathered system of production engineered by orthopedic posture modifications (Screen-Ranting), depth-capitalism, bioware-fangirling, unorthodox ramifications of cognitive work, Nvidia lows and cortex highs. The last two lines being more “As-Of-Now” than generic theorical word-count placeholders.

Sybil pieces come from a space that is more proximal to energetic drinks than to the traditional mandate of productive culture. A cringy spectrum of colors, full-throttle CMYK for 3Dmax Junkies are textured across ergonomic probes for a tentative diversion from the physical politeness marketable objects hold up against property.

Cut to the night of the opening and before leaving she basically synced the two last years of French theory and Snapdragon TM memes into a sentence addressed at her work.

I believe her work to signal a changing shift in forecasted ownership, the kind heavily belonging to a new generation of eager onlookers, a draft in taste-making and the necessary realization that buying patterns will have more to do with available culture waste and its chemical repurpose as artificially flavored protein bars.

Sybil’s work stays within a very specific hybridization common to generative behavior , a non-stream deployed over gallery installations, museum vies, charged personal streaming, software online help-line forums and their peculiarly saturated social engagement, bad gyal monstre live backdrop videos and a very specific way of deploying spoken words – everything counts.

Sybil’s work is pure optimized fanservice, something you can bend in a discourse over advanced-liberalism’s need for figuration over abstraction, real-word aerodynamic industries, neon genesis evangelion third watch in a row and a very lucid terminal fantasy.

One of my favorite web-design is, pure typey pleasure and home page research archive of Doctor Sharon Kinsella – in an article about amateur manga she dedicates a chapter to the universalization of girls culture, where the “domination” of that specific subculture by young women was seen as anti-social due to the personal stance and the themes held by the primary creators and consumers of those drawn stories. Sybil’s work can provide elements for a specific construction of fear schemes, those pertaining to the disregard of the current jargon.

Portrait by Céline Bischoff

Sybil Montet
__Tête D’Alien
Text by Luigi Alberto Cippini

CURA. 39
Are We Eternal Beings?
Fall Winter 22-23

Courtesy of the artist

Sybil Montet (b. France; lives and works in Paris). The artist and CGI creative engages in new media, sculpture and fiction in order to reflect on dynamics between future studies and mysticism. She explores the qualities of CGI as a means of mirage projections, actualizing her fascination for composition and storytelling by shaping entities and sceneries in states of metamorphosis, at the edge of photorealism. Informed by bio-mimesis and speculative design, she looks at sculptural research as a symbolical system embedded into nature’s mysterious code. Montet exhibited in diverse institutions such as: New National Museum, Oslo (2022); Kunstverein Freiburg (2022); FRAC Corsica (2022); Cai Guanshun Cultural Center, Beijing (2021); or FUTURA center for contemporary art, Prague (2019). She has presented her work in international venues, including: Spazio Veda, Florence (2021); Belgrade Biennale (2021); Exile Gallery, Berlin (2018); or Assembly Point Gallery, London (2017).

Luigi Alberto Cippini is an architect and curator.