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Artificial kingdom IV

Kikk festival, 2019
Grand-Théâtre de Québec, 2020
Montreal Connects 2023

“Whether viewed from the ground floor or the 4th floor, this underwater constellation is dizzying, mystifying, and vaguely unsettling. The bluish, transparent creatures pulse and stir, transmitting their nervousness to their neighbors.”

— Josianne Desloges, Le Soleil

Part of a series of kinetic installations with variable geometry where the artist employs similar technical and formal processes, this version of Artificial Reigns spans four floors. Suspended above the room, Artificial Reign IV comprises forty-five flexible and translucent sculptures emitting a shimmering bluish light, gently breathing. Through their arrangement, behaviors, and shapes, the group evokes a colony of creatures floating in water.

Equipped with a sensitive electronic system, the ensemble can “sense” human presence and react spontaneously. Like living organisms, the inflatable electroluminescent cells activate upon visitors’ approach: they contract and expand, wriggle, and illuminate more fervently, then, in a lazy wave, spread their agitation throughout the entire ecosystem.

By mimicking natural phenomena using artificial materials and systems, a process called “biomimicry,” the work explores the interaction between organic and technological worlds while probing the dynamics that underpin their ambiguous relationships.

In tune with exhalations and inhalations, luminous flickers, and fleeting jerks, Artificial Reign IV unfurls an aerial dance that contrasts with the imposing volumes and sharp lines of architecture, transforming the space into an underwater abyss of mysterious beauty.

— Ariane Plante, Curator

Polyethylene, fans, microcontroller, infrared presence sensor, and RGB reflectors.
Sizes vary, approximately: 800 x 900 x 475 cm

Electronic Design and Programming: Samuel St-Aubin
Production Assistant: Federico Arreola Guerrero
Curator: Ariane Plante
Production: Grand Théâtre de Québec
Photos: Charles-Frédérick Ouellet