For several years, along with Arshake, we have been following the work of Miguel Chevalier and his interest in bringing cultures, nature and artifice together through the weaving of pixels.
His Magic Carpets (2014), adapted to the octagonal floor of the courtyard of Castel del Monte (XIII century) and shown in the context of the Andria International Festival, Castel dei Mondi (Castel del Monte, Andria 23 – 31 August 2014), revisited the tradition of mosaic through the filter of digital art.
We then followed Chevalier in the creation of his first public work with Digital Arabesque (2015), a virtual reality installation made using generative software (here realized by Cyrille Henry and Antoine Villere) in combination with careful projection games, which enchanted the audience at the Islamic Art Festival during its first public installation. We then followed him into the depths of the abyss when, in 2018, he created Digital Abysses, an exhibition occupying the spaces of the Underwater Naval Base in Bordeaux with ten monumental digital installations, as well as sculptures made with 3D printers, videos, photographs, laser-engraved drawings and much more, all inspired by underwater flora and fauna.
We have now grown accustomed to a type of work that is recognised as immersive and interactive, two terms that are often abused to describe something completely different. Chevalier is certainly one of the artists who has cultivated this aspect in an original way, starting way back in the 1980s, when access to technology was not as simple or as easy as it is at present.
His research continues today at the intersection of nature, mathematics and machine, where nature reproduced through generative processes places us on the threshold of different worlds.
Several exhibitions and ongoing projects are currently depicting Chevalier’s work to a wider public. His research on the theme of ice crystals, which the artist multiplies through a fractal structure, is done with 3D printing guided by a robot.
For the first time two virtual reality installations are presented, Complex Meshes (2020) and Oscillations (2020), part of Power Pixel. In Complex Meshes an imaginary landscape is generated in real time by the frequencies and loudness of Michel Redolfi’s music, image and sound responding to each other in an authentic synesthesia.
Chevalier has also created the installation OEil de la machine on the occasion of the reopening of the Muséè Ingres where, in relation to some of Ingres’ masterpieces, the artist questions the materialization of the image and its electronic reproduction.
Digital Cristaux, Espace Art Absolument, Paris, France, 17.01 – 05.03.2020
Power Pixels, Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh, USA, 24.01 – 05.04.2020
Immaterial. Re-Material: A Brief History of Computing Art, curated byi Jérôme Neutres, UCCA – Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China, 22.03 – 05.052020