What he basically does is he tries to improve the legibility of ugly graffiti. Tremblin implements graphic processes of intervention inspired by anonymous, autonomous and spontaneous practices and expressions in urban space in order to question the systems of legislation, representation and symbolization of the city.
Mathieu Tremblin was born in Le Mans in 1980; he currently lives in Strasbourg, France and works in Europe. His work can also be found in the Netherlands and Belgium.
He has been a founding member of les Frères Ripoulain duo since 2006. He was also a member of Free Art and Technology Lab (F.A.T.) from 2014-2015. He was also a part of the Bureau d’investigation photographique (BIP) from 2005-2015.
Mathieu Tremblin implements simple yet playful actions in order to question the systems of legislation, representation and symbolization prevalent in everyday city life.
He works with site specific urban intervention, performed walk, tools design, détournement of objects and uses publication, installation, photography and video to document or reinvest his experimentations.
He is also developing collaborative propositions with artists, artist-run spaces and institutions such as art director of publication, collection or residency like Éditions Carton-pâte (2006), Porte-parole (2010), Paper Tigers Collection (since 2010), Office de la créativité (2011-2013) or Public Domain Public collection (opening on Autumn 2016).
His work Tag Clouds, 2010-2016 is presented below.
The goal of Tag Clouds is to replace the graffiti calligraphy with readable translations of the graffiti with clouds of keywords which can be found on the Internet.
It shows the analogy between the physical tag and the virtual tag, both in form (tagged wall compositions look the same as tag clouds), and in substance (like keywords which are markers of net surfing, graffiti are markers of urban drifting).
In his interview with Memefest, Tremblin said, “Tag Clouds also give access to the content of graffiti nicknames, sometimes meaningless, sometimes poetic. The benefits are about the future appreciation of graffiti writing. The term "Street Art" seems to have been appropriated by mass media in order to tolerate and recognize graphic forms acting like viral marketing. So called "Street Art" is a way for power to condemned all none artistically recognizable forms of discours in the city. Spontaneous graffiti writing became the ugly duckling of art in the city. With Tag Clouds the idea is to make a tribute to spontaneous writing, in order that inhabitants accept its visual presence by reading it.”
His work Hypertag, 2011-2014 looks something like this.
The goal of Hypertag is to focus on a graffiti writer and to replace his signature or pieces with a readable version of his nickname composed at the same size of the original tag in classic web font underlined and colored in blue, like the hypertext link which can be found by default on the internet.
Hypertag points to the fact that people could discover some intimacy while walking through the city if they could read and follow a singular tag as a link from one wall to another.
It could also by analogy serve as a link that allows you to browse from one page to another on the Internet.
In his interview with Memefest, Tremblin spoke about the reaction to his work and the most interesting for him has been the reaction of the writers of graffiti themselves.
“On one hand, some of them really appreciate the idea because they wern’t offended by my action. They liked the idea that after covering the entire hall of fame, people could read still and easily their name instead of the classical decoration graffiti fresco covering those kinds of vandal tags.”
He further said, “On the other hand, some of them wrote as if the nicknames translated were not real writers’ name. They didn't show respect towards the basic rules of graffiti practice: don't write over another writer's name.”