Sunday, August 5, 2018

teamLab Au-delà des limites @ la Villette

Les Fleurs et personnes ne peuvent être contrôlées,
mais elles vivent ensemble
teamLab is a Japanese group of artists, programmers, engineers, architects, mathematicians and animators that have turned the Grande Hall de La Villette into an immersive, interactive experience for the whole family. On a sweltering hot Paris afternoon, there were kids of all ages—from 5 to 75—wandering, lying, sitting, dreaming and interacting with the imagescapes in au-delà des limites.
La paix est possible même sans ordre
The images are design innovations before they are aesthetically challenging or conceptually interesting. The walls, floors and, in one room, screens are overtaken with fully interactive image narratives, some of which have no beginning and no end. Others are clearly story narratives, though not of the cause and effect kind. Children loved in particular the installations that required full interaction from the visitors: works activated and further developed by touching, moving along or towards the wall. The thrill was in the process of creating images rather than in the images created. 
A visitor walking past the above installation
Two of the installations invite visitors to sit on the floor and not just watch, but allow the constantly moving procession of images to wash over them. For these, one in the biggest space and the other in a small room, I sat at the edge of the room, others lay in the middle, and still others walked around. The music and images together (both electronically generated) were so hypnotic that I fell asleep. In the heat of the non-air-conditioned former abattoir, lulled by images and sounds in motion, was a surprisingly restful experience.

Univers de particules d'eau dans Au-delà des limites

The installations are a coming together of electronic and organic, technology and nature, human, and flora and fauna. We watch sunflowers grow, birds and butterflies flying, flowers blooming, stars falling water cascading, and figures walking. The exhibition as a whole is a living digital organism constantly churning out new images that make a sharp break with our daily lives, thus whisking us off to a dreamlike world. While I did think the world created was more interesting from a technological and design perspective, the effect of being lulled into an organic world of pure relaxation by the computer generated in a former abattoir was interesting.  

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