Pluridisciplinary experimentation

This post deals with a pluridisciplinary experimentation. Simply because its creative process, which was a thoroughly collaborative one, was so much more enriching and fulfilling than the actual piece itself.

It all started with an awesome contemporary art initiative in Mauritius thought up by Elizabeth De Marcy Chelin, which aimed at creating a platform for such artists on the island (there isn’t much of a scene for contemporary art here unfortunately). Thus NOMAD art gallery was created back in October 2014, as the first show lasted 2 months, until late in December.

Hikupkampus, an immersive video-wall installation

Hence what I brought to this first wave: Hikupkampus, an immersive video-wall installation. Physically, the installation consisted of 12 CRT TV sets and 12 Headphones, each attached to a different TV set.

Each screen plays an edited segment of old footage (spanning over 5 decades, in Super8mm, VHS, MiniDV and Digital formats). An amalgamation of home-made videos, travels and memories, mostly from my grand-father (some amazing footage of his from around the world). Each headphone also plays a different, non-synced soundtrack.

The whole piece acted as a meditation on the nature of human memory, trying show its inability to recall specific context and nuances over time, or re-creating new context, as different neuron paths are created each time a memory is recalled. Thus attempting to touch on concepts such as “flash-bulb” memories, false-memory syndrome, echoic memory.

12 amazing soundscapes

photo (1)Anyways, out of the 12 amazing soundscapes, some have beed created by extremely talented friends from across the globe: by Dan Butler in Wales, one by Igor Cabral in Brazil, another by Yohann Lim Fat in Mauritius. While the rest were created in a more interactive method by three virtuosos: Anthony Bouic, Sarasvati Mallac and Radjiv Ramdenee. Indeed, they recorded these soundscapes inspired by the projected image of the Super8mm footage onto a wall, all over the course of one night (or 7 hours).

The actual installation and edit of the footage was all done with the help of Jurgen Eric (aka Gun – also prolific graffiti artist / photographer), Pascal Leonard (aka Tituk – our electrician extraordinaire), and Laval (TV Scientist). Indeed the installation itself proved cumbersome, as we lacked electrical input, and figuring a way to play each piece of footage was a worry. After much debate, we went with the DVD player approach (not only cost effective, but also because most Tv’s had an RCA component). For most that did not, an Aerial to RCA adapter was used, which permitted the DVD signal to be tuned onto the TV (thanks Jurgen 😉 )

Yes, this means we also had 12 DVD players and 12 different DVD’s back there.

(Photos courtesy of Jurgen Eric)

Interesting links
NOMAD gallery initiative: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nomads-ART-Gallery-Mauritius/515624821899660
Music by Igor Cabral: https://soundcloud.com/december76/italiadrama
Karuna Music (Anthony, Sarasvati and friends): https://www.facebook.com/karunamauritius
Inspiration: Chris Marker’s “sans soleil” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084628/) truly genius