RED STARS CONSTELLATIONS, Jérémie Bellot x Ena Eno x Julien Desbrosses
Jérémie Bellot is an architect and visual artist. He founded the AV Exciters collective in 2012, a collective of architects, graphic designers, musicians and engineers who use technological arts to convey an immersive experience of architecture.
At the border between real and virtual, the collective tends to the improvement or the revelation of the relations between architecture and humans through the realization of installations and transmedia works, and puts therefore the virtual architecture and the architectural metamorphosis by the pixel, the light and the sound at the heart of its thinking. The group uses the audiovisual as a tool for research and architectural expression capable of revealing the quality of a place or a project.
How would you describe digital art?
“I would say that it’s about creation linked to digital language; the interaction, the encounter between humans and the program. When we talk about a program, we are talking about the result of the computer code, and the whole issue of my artistic approach is at stake in this very encounter. By hijacking existing protocols, the digital artist tells stories and creates situations.
A- TILES / AVEIRO / PRISMA, AV Exciters
Digital art allows the public to approach the digital world and its interfaces differently, some projects question society and its relationship to digital, others use digital as raw material: computer, network, language and interfaces in their design process and artistic production.”
Why did you decide to do digital art?
“Trained as an architect, I quickly turned to an artistic practice of architecture through images and light. I wanted to enable people to live a sensitive and intense experience of space through images, geometry, mathematics and the beauty of three-dimensional forms in lived and perceived space.
As a visual artist I have integrated new reflections into my design process. More precisely, I have been interested in the way new interfaces can encourage people to withdraw into the physical world (this is the case of virtual reality or smartphones for example), whereas I consider it essential to maintain social connection through a common visual field and a collective experimentation of the real.
Indeed, my interest in immersive architecture, and especially in fulldomes, is very much explained by its ability to create a space for exchanges. Exchanges of glances, words, energies… And in this sharing, the work becomes richer and participates in the fight against a digital individualization.“
What do you like about the exploration of new media?
“What drives me most is my passion for three-dimensional and polyhedral geometry, architecture and space. It is this passion that drives me to search for new shapes and solids based on past researches. The architect Buckminster Fuller has always inspired me and I pay direct homage to him in some of my works (Bucky Dream, Synergetics…) and in my work as an architect on immersive spaces using principles related to geodesic structures.“
What are your tools as a digital artist? What is your technique?
“The question of the computer tool arises as part of the researches that I carry out by relying on sketches that I realize thanks to very diverse software. I use Cinema 4D but also more simplistic software like Google SketchUp, I also use TouchDesigner and Unity. For my Mapping work, I use the MadMapper software which was created by my friends of 1024 Architecture.
As far as the construction of structures is concerned, on the other hand, I work with sheet metal workers, companies specialized in powder coating, carpenters… We are then brought to work with raw materials and to press metal, to paint, to cut wood… These are essential steps in my work as a plastic artist.“
Bucky Dream, AV Exciters
What is your background? Did you follow a specific training?
“I studied architecture for several years in Grenoble. More precisely, I worked on communicating objects and the design of micro-architecture in public spaces. Then I moved to Strasbourg, where I completed my architectural training and studied cinema at the same time. I studied the cinema of Fritz Lang. This visionary filmmaker worked a lot on models, scale transfers and mirror sets. This inspired me a lot in my work as an architect, which has since become very much influenced by the world of cinema.
After my architectural studies, I set up a collective with Sébastien Schnabel (VJ from the free-party scene of the 1990s), Josselin Fouché (school friend and multimedia graphic designer), and my partner Anne-Sophie Acomat (architect). We started to work on the creation of immersive installations using raw materials such as wood or metal for example, and to create digital scenic devices.”
What are your sources of inspiration?
“My first source of inspiration is unquestionably nature. By nature, I mean the geometry and structures of plants and animals, the architecture of places and spaces, but also in a wider dimension the stars and the universe as a whole.
I fantasize a lot about space. I perceive it as a landscape in its own right and I am convinced that my imagination owes a lot to astronomy. Many of the projects I work on are linked to this universe: the polyhedra I imagine are in my eyes similar to planets or stars, the sculptures I create allow the public to live a dreamlike experience in these celestial landscapes. Of course, mathematics is also a source of inspiration since it conditions the realization of the works that I conceive.”
Describe a particular work/series.
“The first work I would like to talk about is entitled A Metabolist Utopia. It is a visual experience, a journey into the architectural metabolist movement, a Japanese utopian movement that emerged after the war and proposes to rebuild a city according to biomimetic forms. During 2 years, I thus reconstructed and virtually increased some cities and buildings such as Helix City (Kisho Kurokawa) or Golgi Structures (Fumihiko Maki) in order to be able to propose to the spectators to explore them.
A Metabolist Utopia, Jérémie Bellot X Ena Eno X Steph Cl-
This project has evolved a lot, it has taken many forms. The artist Ena Eno, the cellist Steph Cl- and myself have played it under a dome in Montreal, Brussels, Aix-en-Provence, Metz and Strasbourg. It is an exciting project, and we are working on other formats resulting from this project. We will be offering a condensed version for the Digital Art Center of the Château de Beaugency in the coming months.“
A Metabolist Utopia, Jérémie Bellot X Ena Eno X Steph Cl-
“Another work I would like to present is Landscapes. It’s the project that I’ve taken the longest time to produce at the moment. It’s a triptych of landscapes that I’ve made in 3D modeling and printing. From a mountainous and steep topographic environment is created a cold and austere city. The modeling and transformation of these three landscapes offers us an evolutionary reading: with an infrared capture system, we detect and interpret the topographic variations of the landscape to emit notes or melodies that together form a harmonious whole. I really imagined a kind of analogy of the object and its material with vinyl, as if we were extruding a groove.
This project tells the story of the unstable harmony between three universes, three different landscapes which are like three separate entities each with their own sound universe, but which on synchronous reading takes us into a symphonic sound environment. I narrate the coexistence, the evolution of a landscape but also the possibility or impossibility to become one with nature and the city.
The entire sculpture is filmed, and the resulting video is projected on a large scale on the wall. The spectators then find themselves immersed in this landscape and experience the relationship between the object and the virtual landscape, between the microscopic and macroscopic scales through an important transfer of scale. I wish to extend this work by a series of works around digital landscapes.“
Paysages, Jérémie Bellot X NAN[O] X Sylvain Belbart
If you want to discover more about this extraordinary artist, do not hesitate to visit his website: http://jeremiebellot.com/