Digital Arabesques 2015, Miguel Chevalier, generative and interactive virtual-reality installation.
A film by Claude Mossessian © Claude Mossessian
Miguel Chevalier takes inspiration from the aesthetics of Moroccan culture to create “Digital Arabesques 2014”, a generative and interactive virtual-reality installation shown in association with four French Institutes in four different cities in Morocco: Fes, Agadir, Tétouan et Essaouira.
“Digital Arabesques 2015” revisits the Moroccan artistic tradition via the medium of digital art as it spreads out across the floor like a huge light carpet in Derb Lâalouj, Essaouira (Morocco).
The piece features evolving multicolored digital scenes composed of ornamental patterns in reference to the art of zelliges, arabesques and mosaics, as well as the world of “Mashrabiya” (latticework). “Digital Arabesques” shows sophisticated geometrical patterns based on overlapping lines driven by mathematical logic. These moving patterns create a wave that forms and deforms to infinity to reveal a colorful living universe that is constantly renewed. This artwork is interactive through the use of infrared sensors. When the viewers interact with the piece they create disturbances under their feet in the trajectories of these mobile, interlaced patterns and new surprising compositions emerge. The result is an unprecedented interactive and visually immersive experience.
This creative work harks back to the idea of the trompe l’oeil technique in art, disturbing the perceptions of visitors while creating the sensation of a shifting floor or wall that loses its shape and moves. The reference here is to the great Kinetic Art and Op Art artists such as Victor Vasarely, who conducted the research into movement and optical illusion which predated the digital art of today.
In the art of zelliges, Miguel Chevalier discovered a decorative manifestation similar to his own language as well as a connection with digital algorithmic art in its characteristic use of the geometry of forms and mathematical laws. Miguel Chevalier enhances these features by the use of computer software to enrich the designs in the realization of his piece. In this way, Islamic art finds a natural connection with algorithmic and digital art.
In the same way that the zelliges of Morocco develop from floor to ceiling, “Digital Arabesques” covers the floor or the wall with vivid patterns reminiscent of this colourful land where the sun is omnipresent. Miguel Chevalier’s artwork transports the viewer to a world of kaleidoscopic constellations and plunges us into the magical universe of “One Thousand and One Nights” and flying carpets.
Born in 1959 in Mexico City. Resides in Paris, France since 1985.
Since 1978, Chevalier has focused exclusively on computers as an artistic means of expression. He quickly secured a spot on the international scene as a pioneer of virtual and digital art. Miguel Chevalier continues to be a trailblazer, and has proven himself to be one of the most significant artists on the contemporary scene.
Miguel Chevalier’s oeuvre is experimental and multidisciplinary. Taking references from the history of art and reformulating them using computer tools, his works investigate and explore recurrent themes such as nature and artifice, flows and networks, virtual cities and ornate designs. His images are a rich source of insights into ourselves and our relationship with the world.
Since the 1980s, Miguel Chevalier began tackling the question of the hybrid, generative and interactive image. He has created many projects variously incorporating generative and interactive virtual reality installations projected on large scale, shown on Leds screen or LCD screen, sculptures created with a 3D printer or with laser cut, holographic imagery and other forms.
Miguel Chevalier has produced exhibitions and installations for museums, art centers, galleries and public spaces around the world. He has been awarded a number of architecturally- based commissions.
Miguel Chevalier’s digital works are in constant metamorphosis, plunging us into a magical, poetic and very contemporary universe.