Digital Arabesques 2014
Generative and interactive virtual-reality installation
Islamic Art Festival, Al Majaz Waterfront, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Commissioned by: Department of Culture and Information of the Government of Sharjah
6 video-projectors 25 000 Lumens, 6 infrared video cameras, 1 computer
Software: Cyrille Henry / Antoine Villeret
Technical production: Voxels Productions
As part of the Islamic Art Festival, Miguel Chevalier takes inspiration from oriental patterns and culture to create “Digital Arabesques 2014”. It's a generative and interactive virtual-reality installation projected on the floor of Al Majaz Water Front.
“Digital Arabesques 2014” revisits the traditional art of Islam via the medium of digital art. The piece features evolving multicolored graphic scenes composed of ornamental patterns in reference to the art of zelliges, arabesques and mosaics, as well as the world of “Mashrabiya” (latticework). “Digital Arabesques 2014” shows sophisticated geometrical patterns based on overlapping lines driven by mathematical logic. These moving patterns create a wave that forms and deforms to infinity to reveal a colorful living universe that is constantly renewed. When the viewers interact with the piece they create disturbances in the trajectories of these mobile, interlaced patterns beneath their feet. The result is an unprecedented interactive and visually immersive experience.
In the art of Islam, Miguel Chevalier discovered a decorative manifestation similar to his own language as well as a connection with digital algorithmic art in its characteristic use of geometry of forms and mathematical laws. Miguel Chevalier enhances these features by the use of computer software to enrich the designs in the realization of his piece.
“Digital Arabesques 2014” is Chevalier’s first truly open urban installation. The six video-projectors used are supported by a truss structure without the need for walls or a ceiling. This structure materializes a new architectural space within the city landscape.
The accompanying video was produced by Claude Mossessian using a drone camera. Using this technique, “Digital Arabesque 2014” is presented from a birds-eye perspective as the camera glides over the audience creating a visual experience akin to a huge light carpet.
The projection on the floor of the fountain piazza creates a vivid world of colors and forms with movement reminiscent of a kaleidoscope and symbolic of the infinity of Nature and Creation. Miguel Chevalier’s artwork plunges us into the magical universe of “One Thousand and One Nights” and flying carpets.