Digital installations: from awareness to contemplation | ECHO SCIENCES

Illustration by artist Nicolas Gaillardon.

Let’s discover new ways to use digital technologies together

Digital technologies are already everywhere in our lives, but I would like to show you new ways to use them. They can, for example, be used to educate children about the fragility of the earth. This is the goal of the SpaceBuzz project organized in the Pont de Clais Casemate. Young and old have been able to travel around the Earth and the Moon thanks to a virtual reality helmet. Meanwhile, the DNA Festival presents artists using digital technology in their work. Something that tickles our senses!

To listen to the show “Digital Installations: From Awareness to Contemplation”, which will be broadcast on May 25, 2022 on RCF Isère, it’s right here ⬇

Program prepared by Guillaume Froment, CCST Master student at UGA with the help of Nicolas Boutry.

SpaceBuzz rocket at Nelson Mandela College in Pont-de-Clais.

The SpaceBuzz rocket is transported around Europe on its truck

Rocket in college? This was made possible thanks to Audrey Korchinskaya, Casemate project manager. Indeed, it was Casemate who invited the European project SpaceBuzz to come to the suburbs of Grenoble on May 16th. But then what is the SpaceBuzz project?

The SpaceBuzz project was born in the Netherlands with a simple goal: to let kids experience the overhead effect (also called the overhang effect)! The view effect is a cognitive shock, a realization experienced by some astronauts who happen to observe Earth from space. The direct perspective of the position of the Earth in space evokes a feeling of fragility. Astronauts see only a pale blue dot, surrounded by the vast vacuum of space, protected by a thin atmosphere. Outside observers note significant changes in the attitudes of people who have testified that they have experienced this effect. By making the general public feel this shock, we will raise awareness of the urgent need to protect our planet while it is still habitable. But how then to send unprepared children into space? Well, we use virtual reality glasses!

SpaceBuzz Rocket Virtual Reality Seat

Indeed, many college students have been able to observe our planet from a vacuum while sitting in a chair inside a truck-borne SpaceBuzz rocket, which is very safe! They were able to travel around the Earth and land on the Moon to observe melting ice, the light produced by humans, the thin layer of the atmosphere (about 15% of the Earth’s radius), and to understand problems on Earth, such as deforestation. This forced the children to pollute less, use green energy, and also strengthen the beliefs of the elders.

The truck with the SpaceBuzz rocket took off from Grenoble and continues its journey through Europe.

At the DN Digital Installation Festival[A]we admire!

Dauphinois Museum

DN Festival[A] was held from 20 to 22 May in the Saint-Laurent area of ​​Grenoble. I managed to take part in the opening of the Dauphinois Museum. I was able to meet with Pierre Scheffler, President of the ARCAN association that organized this festival, as well as Clara Girousse, who is in charge of programming and production.

They both introduced me to their ARCAN association and also to the origins of the DN festival.[A]. ARCAN was born with the first edition of the DN festival[A] in 2018, thanks in part to Jérôme Villeneuve, the current director of France. The goal was to showcase a new aesthetic associated with digital technology, to find artists from the Isere region who “tinkered” with digital technology, or engineers with artistic practices. The first edition of the DN festival[A] was distributed throughout the streets of Grenoble in order to reach the maximum of the public, which does not always go in the direction of contemporary art. The festival then focused on the Saint-Laurent area, where artistic facilities such as the Dauphiné Museum, the Saint-Laurent Archaeological Museum, La Casemate, as well as numerous art galleries are concentrated. Unusual spaces where the public does not necessarily expect to see contemporary art. The installation of this festival was also accompanied by a time when the exhibited artists could meet with professionals in the field to present their projects and ask for advice.

Forget-me-nots by Clement Demonsan

Thus, the festival spread to the entire Saint Laurent area, we started the tour from the Dauphinois Museum and ended in the Casemate. We’re going to visit!

So we started with a walk in the garden of the Dauphinois Museum, where Clément Demoncent exhibited his work: Myosotis. We managed to discover a bucolic sound installation consisting of speakers in the middle of rose bushes, an invitation to listen to the sounds that surround us, coming from the speakers, as well as from our immediate environment.

The second work of Clement Demonsan “15.2 kilometers” was in the museum. This sound installation for augmented bikes, lights and electronics is designed to make us relive the thrill of freedom, escape, travel and holidays that the bike inspires. It was then that Arthur Chiron presented us with his work in the chapel of the former monastery. Continuing the bike theme, the viewer was invited to virtually connect Paris with Roubaix by bike. But not Paris-Roubaix, which we all know: it is a connection between the eponymous city of Paris, located in northern Texas, and Roubaix in South Dakota. I was even able to take part in this great American journey thanks to a screen connected to the bike that showed us our progress on Google Maps.

It is time to leave the Dauphinois Museum and head to one of the other exhibition spaces: the Saint Laurent Museum of Archeology. We found Alexandre Levy, founder of the multidisciplinary company aKousthéa, and his son there. They offered us several pieces of music inspired by the museum and the world of archaeology, they played the transverse flute, as well as various natural objects such as walnut shells or tree branches.

Combing wood Alexandra Levy

Alexander Levy also invited the public to cross the “tree to graze”, a space where branches, vines, ropes and metal wires intertwine. Sounds produced by impacts between all of these materials caused by the passage of the public could give us the impression of crossing a natural sound field. The metal wires also triggered recordings of instruments and nature projected by the speakers, adding to the immersive effect. Finally, I went down to the basement of the archaeological museum to test the latest work by Alexandre Levy, which is part of his Root of Sound project: Lossonante. La lossonante is a project initiated by Sebastien Deperta and Thomas Bonnenfant with the support of LabEx ITEM, a network of Grenoble researchers. This original sound installation offers a sensation of bone conduction. Therefore, the sound is not projected into space through the air, it passes through the elbows, arms, hands to the ears. It was this technology that Alexander Levy used to broadcast these fragments of the “Racine du son” project, an exciting and somewhat confusing experience.

That’s all for my little DN Festival tour.[A]. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see all the works, but I was still able to watch the sunset over the Vercors!

Feel free to find your favorite digital installation in the scientific journal RCF Isère!

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The article was written by Guillaume Froment, RCF Isère Scientific Communications Intern.