Do you know that feeling when you're looking at some non-descript object and suddenly a jolt hits you? You notice an incredible wealth of details! Something you thought was mundane is actually incredibly beautiful with surfaces and textures that you've never contemplated before. The more you look, the more you discover and as you are sucked into a concentric universe where the visible stretches out to what seems like infinity in a way like when two mirrors are placed before each other. Experiences like this stay with you, a reminder never to forget the intrinsic beauty within everything, a refresh to a childlike state where everything is wondrous.
One summer when I was caught in a storm, I began watching raindrops fall and in the scattered puddles, I noticed how beautiful the concentric circles were as they dance across my field of vision. I began to wonder could I create a computerized sculpture that could choreograph water droplets and thus make animations from the concentric circles that formed. "Concentricity" is the outcome of my exploration of that idea. The artwork consists of eight identical water-filled dishes arranged in a circle pattern on the floor. A few meters above these dishes is the sculpture apparatus, merged with a computer that choreographs the creation of water droplets. The subsequent concentric circles which form as water droplets hit the surface of water pools are lit with a focused beam of light. This light projects the ripples within these water pools onto a wall behind the sculpture and in so doing so makes the animation visible to the observer.
Materials: Umbrellas, Steel, Industrial Computer, Compressed Air Components, Mp3 Player.
Dimensions: ❬4.5m x 4.5m x 0.8m❭
Giving the first impression of a simple commodity sculpture "AutoGene" lures the viewer into a false sense of security which is then at the flick of a switch rapidly dispelled. The seemingly mundane umbrellas are transformed into magical animated objects. The circular arrangement combined with the striking contrast produced as the umbrellas expand and contract, engender the formation of abstract, ephemeral patterns that are seemingly governed by the accompanying music. Obliging the observer to re-evaluate the sculpture, inviting comparisons with dance and animation as the mechanical pixels complete their choreographed movement through time and space.
[Arabesque] mechanical kaleidoscope
Materials: Composite Plastic, Steel, Industrial Computer, Compressed Air Components, Mp3 Player.
Dimensions: ❬4.5m x 4.5m x 1.5m❭
"Arabesque" is a kinetic artwork with its roots in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein and the alchemist's laboratory. Composed of life-sized cast human body parts (incidentally casts of my own body) these translucent entities expose their internal robotic mechanisms to the world. While the wiring/tubing is a conscious aesthetic expression, assimilated into the artwork, to bring chaotic lines of abstract form to contrast heavily with the organized symmetry of the body parts.
When in motion "Arabesque" becomes a time-based performance and the view from above, projected onto a nearby screen, reveals a kaleidoscope of beautiful patterns and shapes created from the human form.
[The Invisible] robotic choreographies
Materials: Hats, Steel, Computers, Custom Built Robots, Compressed Air Components, Mp3 Player.
Dimensions: ❬5m x 5m x 2.5m❭
A sculptural performance consisting of eight duplicate custom-built robots all suspended and arranged evenly in a circular pattern from a metal frame. Fedora hats are attached via a multitude of black rods to each robotic structure so that the hats hang in midair at roughly eye level with the observer. This arrangement alludes to an invisible human presence directly below each hat, and this allusion to humanity is a common feature in my work. A copiousness number of electrical cables and air tubes are joined to these mechanized elements.
Which under the guidance of a computer program, allows the movement of the iconic Fedora hats to be manipulated and enables the piece to perform a choreographed dance/animation. Accumulating in the hats swerving in formation, gyrating and rushing this way and that to the accompanying sound of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries in a surreal theatrical homage to the helicopter attack scene from the film Apocalypse Now. (Please click here for short video of abstract shadow patterns)
[Vicious Circle] choreographic installation
Materials: Composite plastic, Steel, Computer, Compressed Air Components, Mp3 Player.
Dimensions: ❬5m x 4m x 1.5m❭
Inspired by the "Industrial Revolution" and the subsequent changes in human development brought about by that revolution. A path that has and will lead humanity to both heaven and hell. I wanted to try to capture the paradox of this duality by making an intimidating/brutalist machine. "Vicious Circle" is the manifestation of that thought a machine almost militaristic in fashion. With its relentless movement and noise, this machine acts out its role oblivious and undaunted by either its own destruction or the destruction around it. Maybe, it dances to the beat of progress.
It also dances to a different tune, with its outstretched arms "Virtuous Circle" beckons the observer for redemption. Hoping someone will notice the beauty contain within its motions. The rise and fall of the hands as they forming a swarm that flocks together like birds in a choreographed dance.
audio - visual installation
[SoleNoid] audio - visual installation
Materials: Shoes, Steel, Industrial Computer, Compressed Air Components.
Dimensions: ❬4.5m x 4.5m x 0.5m❭
Composed of glossy white wooden discs and sculptural structures which hold mechanical manipulators that pierce classic black and white tap shoes with ornamental brogue patterns. Each structure holds a shoe inches in the air above a small circular metal plate. Eight of these structures are arranged symmetrically in a circular pattern upon a large 4m diameter black wooden disc. Forming a pattern of circles within circles...
The mechanical manipulators or to be more precise the compressed air cylinders and valves are combined with a spaghetti of electrical wires and air hoses. This allows each shoe to move in a variety of ways: toe tap, heal tap, stamp, shuffle, leather slap, etc... Each movement produces its own characteristic sound. The sculpture alternates between:
1. A preprogrammed composition by Marko Wild. Here sounds occur sometimes in synchronization and other times in backbeats. It's a concert of many different tones, all short, sharp and to the point so that in some fast passages, the mind links it to the sound of castanets.
2. Interactive the audience can play SoleNoid via the keyboard place next to SoleNoid. Hitting one of the teardrop-shaped keys on the keyboard triggers a short sequence of movements and functions similarly to a sequencer. These sounds and movements can effortlessly be patched together by the audience to produce a new composition.
Inertia is an installation utilizing video footage to create a panoramic animation constructed from the motion and gestures of Géraldine Fournier choreographed to contemporary music. The animation itself is presented on eight equally spaced screens which are arranged on the circumference of a circle. So the observer finds themselves in an artificial 360° panorama.
Initially, when a viewer enters the installation each screen is displaying static and white noise fills the space. Upon recognition of the observer presence, the static fades out and the animation begins. The choreography of the movement flows between the screens so even though each screen displays its own unique film the screens are seemingly interconnected. The musical composition is an eight channel piece with loudspeakers assigned to each screen. Key sounds are spatially positioned to assist the viewer in determining the focal point of the visual motion.
Coproduction l’Allan, Scène Nationale de Montbéliard dans le cadre d’une résidence [ars]numerica, Centre Européen dédié aux arts numérique.
Special thanks to: Yasmina Demoly, Jean Claude and Gilles Marchesi.