EXO, Spatio-temporal archeology & « Electromagnetic Field Recording »
by Félicie d’Estienne d’Orves and Julie Rousse
E pur si muove ! « Nevertheless, it moves » muttered Galileo when confirming before the Inquisition the copernican revolution.
Displacement, relativity and continuous motion are at the heart of the project of visual artist Félicie d’Estienne d’Orves and musician Julie Rousse.
Other systems exist and co-exist : the EXO project focuses on the three-dimensional perception of such new frontiers – out of reach space-time.
In an audiovisual set-up, the two artists combine laser beams projected onto hundreds of celestial objects – stars, planets, black holes, pulsars, GRB (Gamma Ray Burst)… – with an electroacoustic composition. Like the head of a disk player, these light pulses read the sky and translate astrophysical data into sound.
Derived from a spatio-temporal archeology, the laser beams will go back in time, pointing to nearby stars as well as objects from the deep sky whose light was emitted sometimes over 13 million years ago.
Félicie d’Estienne d’Orves and Julie Rousse – one a visual artist, the other a musician – survey space within a context of installations and performances. One captures – with « Field Recording » – soundscapes, while the other uses light to grasp different space-time continuums.
In collaboration with the astrophysicist Fabio Acero (AIM/ CEA).
Technical Director : Thierry Coduys.
Co-production with Seconde Nature, Bipolar, GMEM.
With the support of Diffusing Digital Art, Arcadi Île-de-France, as part of NEMO, the Biennale Internationale des Arts Numériques (International Biennale for Digital Arts), the Nuit Blanche de Paris – and with the support of the DICRéAM (CNC), of Marseilles Laboratory of Astrophysics / Institut Pythéas, of the IMCCE of l’Observatoire de Paris, and with the support of Philippe de La Cotardière and Julie Miguirditchian.
In the framework of l’Année de la Lumière en France.
In partnership with Lafuma and Ledbox Company.
It was in 2012, on the occasion of a commission for the Lord Mayor of London for the Olympics Games, that Félicie d’Estienne d’Orves created her first installation of laser beams on the terrace of the Watermans Art Center. Using laser beams and motorized mirrors, the sculpture linked the urban perspective to the natural environment of the sky by lines of light, and depending on the angle of vision showed different patterns of basic geometry.
EXO is a continuation of this process but in a more radical context. The aim with this project is to change scale, to increase the relationship to the sky by aligning the viewer’s eye with other spatio-temporal continuum. A land-art project, the EXO installation becomes a part of the various locations where the open horizon and the size of the space provided allow for a visual balance between the map of the ground and the map of the sky.
The light generated by the laser is the key to this process. Particularly dense and linear, this light allows – thanks to its scope – to challenge the perception of space and gives the impression to « touch » remotely. This large-scale drawing tool enables the artist to establish spatial relations (depending on the location) with the light as an interface to grasp the vastness of space.
Revealing the invisible
In 2014, the nature of light studied by Max Planck would trace back the origin of the oldest light still present in the Universe to approximately 380,000 after the Big Bang. From the limits of the cosmological horizon to the finest particle, our apprehension of reality is progressively enhanced by new infinities and by the development of new observation tools which are significantly increasing our field of perception beyond our immediate environment.
In the framework of EXO, two artists collaborate in the writing of a visual and sound score, based on distance and specific features of astrophysical objects.
The installation will show a three-dimensional reading of the sky map, a core sampling of the universe. The distance of the celestial objects will be expressed by the varying length of the sound clips and the switching on of the lasers.
The different sounds presented in the installation are interpreted and processed from elements captured by telescopes used in a research conducted in collaboration with the LAM and Fabio Acero, a researcher at the CNRS AIM laboratory. Then a specific IT development was jointly planned with the team from the Centre National de Création Musicale (GNEM – CNCM – Marseille) in order to process these scientific data into composing tools for the musician.
Quotes and photographic captions :
« Anaxagoras presupposes a synaesthetic connection which transforms light into noise in a similar manner that sound can be produced out of light. He states a kind of vibrating unity of the world. The myth of sound as a continuum that links us, through sensitive perception, to the world of the invisible is still today a very modern thought. »
Michel Chion, Essai d’Acoulogie, 1993 (et non « traité d’acoulogie » cf wikipedia)