Constantin Dubois Choulik
Born in the North of France in 1982.
This website is about my works, as a photographer, experimentalist musician, illustrator, my record label Nothing Out There, etc.
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I studied philosophy and aesthetics in the early 2000s, feeding a strong taste for the paradoxical. My favorite authors were Deleuze, Nietzsche, Clément Rosset, Machiavel… I did a memoir comparing the notion of “hasard” within Deleuze, Nietzsche and Machiavel’s philosophies, and another one about improvisation in music in the 20th century, both while attending classes at ULB in Brussels.
From the mid 2000s and on, I carried on philosophy within the disguise of the artist, mainly in the fields of photography and soundcraft.
Living in Brussels, and still maintaining a strong bond with North of France, my native area, I pursued an ten-years long exploration of the field of industrial landscape and architecture through the means of analog photography. This allowed me to feature in exhibitions in major heritage sites like Le Bois du Cazier (Marcinelle, Belgium) and Le 9/9 Bis (Oignies, France).
From 2012 to 2014, I stayed as a resident student/artist in Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains (Tourcoing, France), featuring twice there in collective exhibitions, as my fellow “students”. I collaborated with Caroline Champetier, Thomas McIntosh and received input from Nicolas Moulin and Robert Henke.
Working with the view camera in monumental industrial areas of Germany, I produced the photographic installation Postcards From Limbo, using transparent sheets for the prints.
Today, my photographic practice has broadened. I have explored my personal archives of small format, black & white photography to edit the book A l’Aveugle. Free of any “photographic subject”, important themes of my everyday practice are there illustrated : the fast, magic, lyrical quality of the small camera, the use of the human and animal body as a geometrical mean of composing within the frame, an exploration of the possible sensuality and nightmarish quality of the city at night. All in all, a quest for a vision of reality itself : an attempt at destroying the veil of objectality and purpose.
My main focus now is the US. I’ve been there three times and planning to go again.
Fotografie: Stijn Boelens, Het Entrepot. Thanks
Meanwhile, starting 2006, I delved into sound creation with the unique basis of a love for sounds. An avid experimental music listener with no background or training whatsoever, I understood it was enough to become a musician when I heard Robert Horton‘s piece Chance Meeting of a Superball and a Washing Machine.
With Aurélie Brouet, we founded the improvisation duo Przewalski’s Horses, and in a span of about six years, came to record and release about twenty albums on worldwide experimental music labels. Przewalski’s music is stubbornly raw and wild, trying to eternally cultivate a childish spontaneity towards the sonic possibility of the world and its objects. We played with renowed experimentalists such as Michael Northam and Jason Honea.
I founded Nothing Out There in 2006, a ferociously self-funded and independent record label printing obscure and strange works of music, creating artworks out of a large palette of different techniques, releasing nearly 40 records up to this day. Among others, the label built a long-lasting collaboration with Robert Horton, music experimentor extraordinaire, releasing together four records, with unique drawing-based artworks. Some of NOT’s editions are now part of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France collection.
In 2013, I started playing solo in Draisine, a drone/ambient/noise/exp/improv vehicle that so far has produced six studio albums, all self-recorded, edited, produced and released. I also used Draisine to produce shortfilm soundtracks for Clio Simon, Nicolas-Pierre Réveillard, Mathilde Veyrunes and to experiment live performances.
Ten years after the improbable start of a career as a musician, I am still interested in pushing further the boundaries of musical noise. I came to believe that, while impossible, silence is the best music that one could ever produce in a much too noisy civilisation ; a music possibly too weird to be analysed, covering the world’s sounds under a blind blanket, allowing our minds to wander anew in the midst of a meditative and deafening background.