Three artists have collaborated to create a colossal multimedia installation project called Viral/Vital Energy 2020 that is influenced by the appearance of microorganisms in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leonel Moura, Miguel Chevalier and Jacopo Baboni Schilingi are driven by their shared interest in science and have come together to create a virus-like installation as a hymn to life.
Combining their different creative approaches, the creators have introduced their monumental installation, dubbed Viral/Vital Energy 2020, that consists of an algorithmically-created sculpture by Leonel Moura, a virtual reality artwork by Miguel Chevalier and music by Jacopo Baboni Schilingi. The model of the sculpture with its radiating shape was created by an algorithm that generates spikes and holes on a given 3D sphere. The sculpture is a 15-metres-high, placed in the centre of a 30-metre-diameter water mirror, reflecting and visually magnifying the installation during day and night.
The sculpture is inflatable, and at times deflates and re-inflates, symbolising breathing that allows life. At nightfall, the sculpture becomes a projection surface for a unique generative virtual reality work referring to COVID-19 and other viruses. For this new creation, Chevalier is gradually building up a database of 2D and 3D images of diverse morphology of cells, viruses and bacteria.
Some of these images were conveyed by Olivier Schwartz, director of the Department Virus and Immunity of Institut Pasteur, as part of the organoid program. The sculpture is enriched by an original musical work generated continually and in real-time by an algorithm that translates Schilingi’s breathing into harmony and musical structures.
Viral/Vital Energy 2020 responds to the fundamental need to recreate a symbiosis within the living world, especially the invisible world of microorganisms. Viruses, which have very bad reputations, “are also our friends”, according to microbiologist Patrick Forterre, who specialises in giant viruses and has recently demonstrated that viruses have played a key role in our own evolutionary history.
In today’s reality that is filled with fear linked to the coronavirus, learning about these microorganisms is essential in order to better understand the future of humanity. Viral/Vital Energy 2020 is intended to be presented in cities around the world, during popular events such as Biennials or various digital festivals. Through striking visuals and dynamic sound, radiance and vivid colours, this multimedia installation is envisioned as an impressive artwork to celebrate the victory of life.
Via designboom | Images courtesy of Leonel Moura, Miguel Chevalier and Jacopo Baboni Schilingi