Algorithm, generative, code, programme, datas… This type of vocabulary can be offensive because even though we are in a digital era, it is often considered as disembodied and dehumanised with these technological tools.
And yet, it is quite the opposite that Claire Malrieux tells us about with Waterscape, her immersive digital installation, where the poetry of drawing bewitches us, questions the environment and wishes to interrogate the question – under debate – of the anthropocene.
Trained at the Beaux-Arts in Paris (2010), Claire Malrieux first developed her work around sculpture while working in a collective manner from the outset: sharing and exchange are at the heart of her creative process. In 2011, she will specialise in new technologies at the Ensci-les-Ateliers. She explores digital technology, discovering new plastic possibilities and collaborates in this context with coders and programmers (here Sébastien Courvoisier), helping her to create tools to translate her thoughts and desires. The artist’s hand intervenes at the beginning, giving lines to his drawings, the machine then generates a multitude of them and offers unequalled possibilities in terms of speed and flow. Based on the Gaïa hypothesis (developed by British climatologist James Lovelock in the 1970s) where all living beings on earth form a vast organism, Claire Malrieux has notably designed Climat Général. This generative work borrows from the vocabulary of the climate – pressure, lull, cloud, good weather – in a constant search for balance.
As an iteration of Climat Général, Waterscape is based on data from water-related surveys since 1900 (drought, floods, hurricanes, etc.) and predictive simulations. The programme then creates a scenario based on these algorithms. The generated drawings are fed with this data, which is evolving and supposed to never stop, a metaphor for our universe. Claire Malrieux builds a graphic climate machine. By taking an interest in man and the universe, she gets closer to a humanist way of thinking while making a bridge with the 21st century and new technologies.
The hidden face of the moon, water, the atlas, are the subjects that inspire her. The artist conceives mental narratives, questions the notions of projection in space but above all mental projection. By immersing himself in his continuous flow of lines, what can the spectator imagine? His works can be read in two senses: the climate is environmental but also societal, the computer language is also human…
Waterscape is a sensory work, the soundtrack created by Alexandre Dubreuil adds to the hypnotic and magical dimension of the installation. By wanting to draw a notion, bringing together different disciplines, the artist opens up the question and goes as far as proposing a form of technological esotericism! A pact is made with the machine, that of renewal, curiosity and infinite possibilities, like water in short.