Shadows and Whispers: Emerging Forms at the Edges of Nature was a workshop that produced an environment mounted within a stone barn in Lessac, France. The workshop brief asked evocative questions, speculating that within whispering sounds, new voices might be heard, and within glimmering shadows, dream-like worlds might be seen. Could nature and technology cross over and combine into new forms? What can we learn from the patterns of nature and, in reverse, what can we offer nature? Could the subtle boundaries between artificial and natural worlds hold keys to new kinds of harmony in our expanded, turbulent world? Under the leadership of Philip Beesley and Rob Gorbet, workshop participants created an interwoven new world, operated with the support of technical and digital devices and installed within Boisbuchet’s unique architecture and nature.
The final environment consisted of a projection screen, sound and lighting devices, and numerous skeletal interaction systems making a theater of shadows and garden of forms. The installation was accompanied by a performance in which fourteen participants and four staff members brought together text, sound, and movement. The performance involved a gathering in the Domaine’s exterior environment followed by participants moving and encircling the construction. The kinetic installation contained microprocessors and devices from the LASG’s customized electronics system. Four construction kits including introductory stations, scaffolds, geometry explorations, and electronics hardware and software were combined to support the exploration and creation of polyhedra, geotextiles, and truss systems, activated by electronics and sound.
The Shadows and Whispers workshop preceding the installation focused on sound, light, and the boundaries between movement and sound. Initial intensive building exercises included a series of experimental perception exercises. Patterns of movement, clapping, whispering, and singing led to phased overlapping systems. These collective exercises were accompanied by talks and explorations. Talks reflected on elemental patterns that move from mineral and inert states into sentient living matter. In the final installation, fields of new space were created by using artificially created sounds and tones, interwoven with lights and shadows.
- Philip Beesley
- Rob Gorbet
Carolina Otero Buesa
Pablo Yániz González
I Chen Wu