Mu Arae

  • 2015

“Mu Arae” in astrophysics defines one planetary system composed of 4 some exoplanets which could have the particularity to be super-habitable. Nowaday, the technologies of visualisation in astronomy have significantly improved and allow to assert that there are other solar and planetary systems. But, more important, one can also alleged that there are thousands of super-habitable exoplanets within these systems, bringing thus the conditions for humans to live (atmosphere, temperature, water, magnetism, soil, etc.). "Mu Arae", therefore, includes the utopian prospective of an other world, using both common references to humans (time, space, light) but transforming them in a variable and an unusual way. The landscape stems primarily from the viewpoint and perspective derived from a self-perception to each. Then, this project plays both with our perception habits and question also the image facing a prospective imagination.

This installation includes three main modules: a video game, a well and camera oscura wood box.
The video game is developed with Unity and reuses specific codes of 3D modeling and virtual universe design: trees, sky, animals, plants, minerals, water and climate variables come together to form an island within the viewer can evolve, visit and observe the changes. This video game, is rather designed as a contemplative landscape and, thanks to the programming developps its own behaviour. It obeys whole day/night cycles but also to a variable seasonality. Moreover, without intervening in the game, random wandering progressively comes, thereby continuously providing new perspectives. The game takes the form of a split-screen (dual horizontal view). Each one of the views complement without obeying our usual perception. The different directions create visual composition variations and leads the player in his wandering.

Few meters from the videogame is facing the well, a ground circular shape. An incessant bird flock is in movement on it. This well may be pseen as a mirror or space-time gap within which the birds fly from the videogame to the well. These birds are in a space one can not define the orientation nor get any realistic point of reference. The viewer is itself placed in a position where he observed the ground which normally would be at the sky.

Finally, the last module, is a small box of mahogany wood, placed as a counterpoint, less spectacular. This small box is decorated on its top with an magnifying glass, like a camera oscura. Despite the distortion induced by the lens, we guess the image of an island in rotation and recognize glimpses elements on the video game. Visual intersections and reminiscences observed in these three modules are intended and renewed for the public invitations to put their eyes in another context.

  • Videoprojection, screen projection, speakers, Unity game engine, nunchuck.
  • "Aux bords des paysages", 2015. Saint-Jean de Cuculles.
  • Curator: Manuel Fadat