Digital Abysses 2018

Digital Abysses 2018 by Miguel Chevalier




With his exhibition entitled Digital Abysses, Miguel Chevalier takes over the monumental spaces of the Bordeaux Submarine Base. This exhibition present, over 3,500 square meters, ten monumental installations, as well as cabinets of curiosities containing more than 100 new works. The exhibition offers visitors a stroll between dream and reality, where they can penetrate into the heart of the unknown, just like with the great oceanic depths. Along the way, they discover various projected interactive digital installations, such as Liquid Pixels, Strange Attractors, The Origin of the World, New Atlantis and Fractal Seaweeds, Digital Abysses.

Digital Abysses 2018
Submarine base Bordeaux

Bordeaux Submarine Base
Bordeaux Submarine Base is one of the ve bases built on the french atlantic coast by the german occupation forces during the Second World War. This gigantic bunker serves as an unusual exhibition space, managed by the city of Bordeaux. The Base sous-marine values digital technologies via its choice in artistic programming, with its major digital art exhibition every year, and revisited visitor experience that aims to be more interactive and involved with social media.

Atlantis 2015

Digital Abysses 2018
Printed canvas – 20 m X 8 m

This monumental work recalls Atlantis, the island between fiction and reality that, as the story would have it, was engulfed during protohistory. This large format recalls the Submarine Base’s concrete architecture and provokes a perception of infinity that pulls you towards the depths of the unknown.

Radiolarians 2018

Digital Abysses 2018
6 gobos – 50 m x 3 m –
Photo Frédéric Deval, Ville de Bordeaux

Set up in the Submarine Base’s entrance, this luminescent creation begins by observing microscopic plankton organisms, radiolarians. Here, Miguel Chevalier transposes the geometry of these extraordinary forms in the digital world. On the door, the length of the hallway, luminescent radiolarians dive into the depths of the ocean.

Cabinets of Curiosities 2018

Digital Abysses 2018
Box 1 – Radiolarians series – Box 2 – Corals series – Box 3 – Vortex series – Box 4 – Concretions series

Miguel Chevalier revisits 16th and 17th-century cabinets of curiosities. Miguel Chevalier proposes four different contemporary cabinets of curiosities, consisting of 3D-printed sculptures, videos, digital prints, Dacryl resin paintings, laser cutting… These works are inspired by underwater flora and fauna, more specifically coral, jellyfish, and microscopic animal plankton such as radiolarian. Via ultraviolet lighting, these enlarged versions of living organisms become luminescent, just like various species in the ocean’s depths.

Kelp Forest 2018

Digital Abysses 2018
500 steel micro-structures, UV neon light

Variable size As light as it is airy, this massive installation suspended from the ceiling resembles a jungle of luminescent kelp seaweed. Created from an assemblage of 500 fluorescent micro-structures linked to one another and lit with ultraviolet lights, the work emerges from the darkness like a rhizome of light.

Strange Attractors 2018

Digital Abysses 2018
Generative and interactive virtual-reality installation

Strange Attractors is composed of wisps of color that track the visitor’s movements. Their motion disturbs and interferes with the dancing swirls are reflected on the ground as if on a reflecting pool of water. These fluid forms evoke the lightweightedness of seaweed and bioluminescent jellyfish that float in the water. Time seems to be suspended.

The Origin of the World 2018

Digital Abysses 2018
Generative and interactive virtual-reality installation

Strange Attractors is composed of wisps of color that track the visitor’s movements. Their motion disturbs and interferes with the dancing swirls are reflected on the ground as if on a reflecting pool of water. These fluid forms evoke the lightweightedness of seaweed and bioluminescent jellyfish that float in the water. Time seems to be suspended.

Binary Particles 2018

Digital Abysses 2018
200 balloons inflated with helium, 1 Raspberry Pi, 15 motorized lights

This installation is composed of metallic-colored 1 and 0s, helium-inflated, floating in the exhibition space. These two digits are the symbolic representation of two logical states regarding the intimacy of machine-computer functionality. These symbols manage millions of pieces of data, follow our environment, and constitute this nebula that we call “information.”

Liquid Pixels 2018

Digital Abysses 2018
Generative and interactive virtual-reality installation

For this virtual reality installation piece, the artist proposes a dynamic generative and interactive painting. This work represents a liquid or gas environment that recalls the streams emitted from hydrothermal vents (geological formations of chimneys in the ocean’s depths). The viewer’s movements create a stream of dark color that mixes and fuses with the work before slowly fading until the next visitor’s passing. Liquid Pixels 2018 draws from action painting of the 1950s, when artists became one with the canvas.

New Atlantis 2018

Digital Abysses 2018
Generative and interactive virtual-reality installation

This installation is evocative of the myth of Atlantis, an island engulfed beneath the waves. It’s an imagined city. Its wired buildings continuously evolve and parade by with no beginning or end. New Atlantis telescopes the eras and projects the visitor in a cyberspace architecture that is nothing but an enormous network, impossible to explore nor understand in its entirety. Via an iPad interface, the visitor can explore different “cities,” move side to side, up and down. Between fiction and reality, this work invites us to see and live the city in an entirely new way thanks to an imagination without limits.

Digital Abysses 2018

Digital Abysses 2018
Generative and interactive virtual-reality installation

Digital Abysses is a totally new work that explores the undersea world in its diversity, particularly some forms of plankton, such as radiolarians. These marvels of nature composed of siliceous skeletons with sharp radially symmetric spines come in a variety of shapes.Chevalier transposes here the geometry of these extraordinary forms into the digital universe.
Source and images Courtesy of Miguel Chevalier.

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