WATERMARKS APPARATUS TO OBSERVE THE INVISIBLE
Site-specific installations in collaboration with Santiago Ortega Haboud
Watermarks is a series of site-specific installations. Experimenting at the interface of the visible and invisible, real and fictional, past and present; we work with sculptures, video, photography and programming, building physical devices such as telescopes and creating digital installations based on the viewers' perceptions and physical engagements. We work from the history and myths of a location and use fiction to reveal traces of its past.
By applying a layer of fiction to our perception of what seems real, the sculptural video apparatuses contort reality and show what we no longer see. We achieve this by introducing digitally programmed illusions, animations and videos into the viewing devices. Peering inside these, the public discovers a new or discarded detail of the landscape through a mirage-like scene relating to the history of the location where the installation is taking place.
Each installation requires us to research and immerse ourselves in the location, meet people and work in archives in order to extract stories and myths from the area. These stories are mainly chosen for their connection to water and to a remarkable event that would have left an invisible trace on the landscape and the population.
The location that inspires each installation is essential in the development of the project which originates where the place, its history and its population meet. Our process brings a new scope on the geography, landscapes, history and myths of a place; thus, the project becomes a means to share the richness of the region through the workshops, installations and exhibitions.
Project supported and co-produced by Arcadi_Acme (Aide à la la création multimedia experimentale).
Site Specific Installation at Les 26 Couleurs revealed during FESTIVAL NEMO, le festival des arts numériques d’Arcadi
Link between the river Seine and the Leroy wallpaper factory, a long ferry bridge provided coal to the factory’s power station. A clamshell bucket transported the coal from the riverbank towards the funnels located on top of the furnaces. This fuel generated electricity as well as the heat used to dry the paper. It was replaced by petrol during the 70s. Obsolete, the ferry bridge was dismantled in the early 80s.
As part of digital art festival Némo, and as a result of a residency at Les 26 Couleurs, art centre focusing on new media arts and located in this former factory, Watermarks presents a site-specific installation. Facing the Seine, the viewing device is placed where the bridge ended.
Combining analogue and digital technologies, this device reveals the ferry bridge, key structure of the energetic operation of the factory. At the junction between the gaze and the landscape, this mirage-like vision is the result of research in local archives, meetings with historians and former workers of the Leroy factory, as well as drawing and animation workshops with the population.
The question of transmission is envisaged here as the fusion of a collective memory. It forms the starting point of a narrative and a poetic resistance to oblivion.