28th, June 2018 - 3rd, November 2019

L'ombre de la vapeur

Adrien M & Claire B

The Torula, or Baudoinia compniacensis, is a mushroom native to the Cognac region that feeds on volatile organic compounds; they cover and blacken the surrounding walls. Before the Foundation completed its renovation work, the building was plastered with this fungus.

Inspired by an animist fiction, Claire Bardainne and Adrien Mondot’s piece uses digital technology to reveal “the shadow of the vapor”. It is a work of art, a space, an immersive experiment and an encounter with a magical and expressive organic entity.
Visitors will wander through and interact with an ensemble of elaborate forms in a fine metallic veil, with suspended clouds on which will be projected white moving particles. A sonorous and contemplative organism, this work is modulated by the rhythm of the visitors’ movements, their gestures and their pauses influencing the floating units. In darkness, the metallic surface of the clouds becomes transparent to show only the points, which seem to undulate in the air and form a hybrid starry sky: a mix of landscape, plant and animal.

The shape of each particle evokes the Torula mushroom as enlarged under the microscope—yet it is not a realistic reproduction, but instead a graphic and poetic transposition. The cells, normally imperceptible to the naked eye, become entities that seem sloughed off by design. This installation offers itself like a memory of something ephemeral, a eulogy to what is consumed or lost: creating a concentration of life and value in an instant wherein the visitor tests out the work. L’ombre de la vapeur is also an ode to what is minute, incidental or peripheral: an homage to that which is lively, in all its forms.

The apparatus is composed of about thirty video-projectors, which steep these clouds and parts of the ground in a long continuum of images: generated and animated, in real time, by synchronized computers, which control the infra-red cameras that enable public interactivity. A sound installation pervades the space and the experience. Composed by Olivier Mellano, this “hymn for the mushroom» is inspired by principles from the Protéodie, a theory by which each amino acid is associated with certain waves that can be  transcribed to a musical partition: the melody of the DNA of each living being.

The company Adrien M & Claire B creates digital and living art forms, ranging from stage performance to installations. It is co-directed by Claire Bardainne and Adrien Mondot, whose approach puts the human experience at the centre of technological issues, with a strong visual focus on the body and unique bespoke technologies created in-house. They aspire to create an art of movement to set the human body in resonance with graphic and digital arts. Adrien Mondot is computer engineer and juggler. Claire Bardainne is graphic designer and scenographer. They created Hakanaï in 2013, a choregraphic piece in which a danser moved in a picture box. In 2014, along with Mourad Merzouki, they co-created the Pixel show.

They received the SACD price for numeric creation in 2015, and they created the show Le mouvement de l’air (Air moving) the very same year. In 2016 La neige n’a pas de sens (Snow makes no sense) was published by the Subjectiles Editions. This first monography also contains a serie of six augmented reality works. In 2017, a new set of installations called Mirages & Miracles took shape. The Lyon-based company and its 30 coworkers develop a software tool since 2006: eMotion. Its aim is to write the interactions between picture and body and to be used for performing arts.