Composed by Camille de Dieu and Laurent Novac, born in 1986
The simplest way to describe studio z1’s research is to talk about creating worlds.
These are neither utopian nor dystopian creations, but rather worlds parallel to our own. Worlds that seem familiar on some points but have undergone changes that create new emotions because they are missing from the visitor’s experience.
The major work of the studio is therefore the search for these modifications. In the performance Modell - 1 (2016), Modell being the German word for model, a sculptural world in which visitors lose awar- eness of scales and therefore their positions re- lative to the elements that make up the set. The elements of the landscape are familiar, a labyrinth, sculptures, walls. Yet the forms and textures move, evolve, are not fixed, these modifications contribute to the destabilization of the spectator who tries as much as possible to cling to his own experience, to his own references.
The installation Holy Synthetic Meteor (2016) offers a guided tour of a meteorite. A meteorite created from real-world data and archive images from NASA. Yet the materials that govern certain ele- ments of this universe are unusual. Lakes are made of materials reminiscent of mercury or aluminum, beaches of plastic, and snow of gold. The research here is in the study of the natural/synthetic dua- lity. The shapes and textures of the elements we observe inform us about their origin: man-made or nature’s work. The studio is interested here in our reflexes when faced with a situation, the rela- tionship between what we feel and our experience. A study that we find almost literally in the interactive installation Horao (2016), a false
mirror on a reality; three Icelandic lava rocks and their digital doppelgänger, giving the studio the opportunity to play with materials, perspective, light while having a referential object that attests to the modifications.
The studio’s installations and performances are often presented as guided tours. The guide has control over the shapes, textures, expansion or contraction of time and space. This also explains why the real-time aspect to the studio works is important.
NOVA LANDS G1 - C203 H (2017) is a work created in a 360° dome allowing a total immersion of the spectator in a cosmos created and modified in real time. A similar approach for D100’s TRACE (2019), the performance and thus the changes in the wor- ld adapts to the desires and moods of the performer guides.
The need for real time, to be able to make very precise modifications of elements of the different worlds: textures, shapes, interactions, whether for sculptures, installations or performances has pushed the studio to create its own software tools, in order to have a more precise and finer control of their creations. The generative aspect of the works allows the tools to be used as research and creation mediums.
The Fear Of Murmuration (2019) project, for example, uses photogrammetry, computer vision algorithms, real-time rendering and generative design giving the artistic creation a very large amplitude and therefore greater control.
However, the studio is not limited to purely digital mediums. As the monumental work created for the Bibliothèque de la Cité Genève Flocons de cité (2018) or the C-10 (2018) series of ceramic sculptures created during the CERCCO residency in Geneva attest.