Art and Science

Creating art with light


Hyperlight is a series of three innovative art projects, created by Thomas Pachoud and supported by Atelier Arts Sciences. Contemporary lighting projects look.

Thomas Pachoud is an ultra-modern artist. Schooled in multi-media engineering, he spent seven years honing his creative skills with digital technology, electronics, robotics and programming. His ability to bring unusual artistic visions to life with technology earned him the nickname “the augmenter”. Inspired by his experience with electronic mediums, Pachoud went on to create a plastic, visual and audio masterpiece, Lumarium. As the first of three Hyperlight installations, it was presented at the “Experimenta” Arts, Science and Technology Fair in Grenoble, France on October 2014

Thomas Pachoud lights


Lumarium is an aquarium-like structure containing a projection device that creates artistic laser effects. The beams are reflected by moving mirrors, and a controlled parabolic mirror creates the illusion of depth within the piece. “The aim was to create a form of holographic modular architecture by closely controlling light beams in an opacified space,” said Pachoud. “By aligning them, making them converge or diverge, by allowing them to appear in different areas of the space, we open up the field of possibilities by offering genuine freedom to write the light in the space.”

The piece incorporates sound as well as visual effects. As a musical soundtrack composed by David Guerra plays, a cymatic mirror changes the shape and density of a vibrating light image. The installation is controlled by open-source software that can be shared with the community to assist with future collaborative development. Pachoud’s light and sound composition, which lasts for eight and a half minutes, has three stages representing solid, gas and liquid textures.

Joining forces with science


Atelier Arts Sciences (AAS) research platform is jointly supported by the Hexagone Scène Nationale Arts Sciences Theater in Meylan, and by CEA Grenoble (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission). The organizations have promoted meetings and collaborations between artists and scientists since 2007. “Their long-term vision is stimulating, since they open up new research directions for us" said Dominique David. "They push back the limits of what is possible and reveal new technological possibilities to the general public through their international-style artistic creations.”

These crossovers between artists and scientists have resulted in 19 research residencies at AAS– five of them involving designer lighting. In addition to Thomas Pachoud’s Hyperlight project, AAS is also supporting the stage project Pixel Motion, which is Directed by Yann Nguema of the EZ3kiel group and Arnaud Doucet. Pixel Motion is a luminous table-cloth made of thousands of LED lights that can be remotely controlled, creating moving, multi-shaped light images.

Supporting amazing artists


Eliane Sausse, director of AAS, talks about the collaborations: “The crossover between artists and scientists brings innovations in both fields and can also stimulate industry. Our partner, the CEA, is contributing money and making available the premises, and above all, researchers’ working time.”

“AAS has decided to support Thomas by putting its trust in him, since he’s an engineer oozing with genius and an emerging artist with ideas and amazing potential,” said Sausse. This enthusiasm is echoed by Dominique David: “I didn’t think he would go so far so fast,” he said. “His installation conceals an aesthetic power and constitutes the embryo of important research to come. Pixel Motion foreshadows the development of a 3D television that does away with the need for a flat screen.”

Devoting resources to light


Pachoud’s second installation, planned for the fall of 2015, will explore the liquid state in the form of a massive black box which the audience will enter. Pachoud’s third creation – a choreographic performance – will lay the foundations for a show to be performed in 2016-2017. Hyperlight is an innovative, abundant and fascinating body of research that will be monitored by i-meetings, and seen at the next Arts Sciences biennial in Grenoble, from 1 to 10 October 2015.

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