Yann Toma’s work is built around a fictional artistic company called Ouest-Lumière (West-Light). The business relates to a mode of corporate operation which would have existed between 1905 and 1946 until the creation of EDF (Electricité de France). By bringing back to life the former electric company, buying its name and brand in 1991, Yann Toma has appropriated a symbolic network, a factory infrastructure in which he has constructed his area of research and even the very material of his artistic activity. Thus Ouest-Lumière constitutes the first fictional company for producing and distributing energy.
By shifting all the representation and operation of the industrial world into the artistic domain, Yann Toma becomes the operator of an unreal energy network. The Ouest-Lumière company has a chairman, (the artist has declared himself to be chairman for life), a board of directors, shareholders and subscribers. Today this network involves thousands of people.