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Enter A Digitized Forest In This New Audiovisual Installation

"Nimbes," the new collaboration by Joanie Lemercier and James Ginzburg (of Emptyset) is an immersive, augmented reality exploration into the digital unknown.

by Emerson Rosenthal
25 June 2014, 6:00pm

When 3D scanning technologies have the ability to translate the real world into the digital, and immersive multimedia spaces—like Montreal's Satosphére dome—can accurately re-house these 3D environments, it becomes a challenge to divine where life ends and augmented reality begins. A feat of ontological proportions, Nimbes, the new project from ex-AntiVJ visual art maestro Joanie Lemercier and electronic act Emptyset's James Ginzburg, takes this spillover effect to soaring new heights by combining in-camera footage with 3D laser-scanned, and digitally represented reconstructions of breathtaking natural and man-made architectures at the Société Des Arts Technologiques's colossal dome in Montreal.

Employing a 360º rig of six GoPros, alongside LIDAR laser scans, Photoscan-made 3D reconstructions of 2D images, and even a 3D forest map provided by Ecosynth, the result is something of an immersive, transmediated marriage between James Frost's music video for Radiohead's "House of Cards," and Lars von Trier's Antichrist.  

As Lemercier traversed the globe, gleaning source material from Europe's spookiest forests to North America's driest deserts, to Milan's Duomo cathedral, and even to two active Indonesian volcanoes, Ginzburg created a three-step process to develop Nimbes' soundscape. Recording first in an abandoned Berlin power plant, then premixing in the UK, and finally mixing on-site at the Satosphére, the result is one that must be seen, heard, and felt, to be believed.  

From Ginzburg and Lemercier's artists' statement: 

Nimbes explores the ontology of observation and its relationship to cosmogony, notions of intelligence and individuality. As a universe comes into being, emergent structures arise and determine its unfolding. [...]  But within this process, questions arise, linear continuity is interrupted by the uncertainties of the hypothesis of stability on which we base our solid notions, which have provided the foundations for our architectures, the grounds of our narratives. Observation however, the thread which unites all experience, a lens that can not see itself, invisibly and perpetually remains.

Nimbes is ongoing at Montreal's Société Des Arts Technologiques through June 27, alongside Quantum, another groundbreaking installation from 1024 architecture. For more information, visit Joanie Lemercier's website.


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