As one of the pioneers of digital art, Frenchman Miguel Chevalier has used various types of computer technology to render unique alien landscapes, filled with organic shapes and inorganic colours, a window into another world from the imagination of a human and the ‘mind’ of a computer.
His art exists by asking questions: what defines the human and the machine? This might be a regularly broached topic now, but before the pervasive and widespread use of technology, these matters remained obscure, firmly reserved for speculative science-fiction. Chevalier has had to utilise a vast array of technology to create his art, always being one step ahead of the curve of technological advancements.
With thought provoking digital installations, Chevalier challenges the most human of concepts, from faith to nature, juxtaposing their subjective experience with something far more binary - the logic of computing systems.
Constructing cityscapes and marbled psychedelic backdrops, his immersive works come to life when co-existing with the environment, contributing a sensorial landscape to something otherwise static. In these moments, where the art, artist and environment coalesce, Chevalier’s work rings most profound and true.
Dissolving the boundary of natural and artificial, the French artist’s work epitomises the relationships that have been growing between man and machine, where earlier fears of artificial intelligence are both being bolstered and offset by the increasingly intuitive and complex perspective that computer-led creations proffer.
Akin to staring into the infinite cosmos, a Chevalier installation weaves a tale of life itself, of human endeavour and its limitations. As with space, the very frontier of science, so too is its infinitesimal complexity mirrored by the human consciousness, both of which are becoming mapped and understood by rapidly evolving technology.
When one gazes up at the sky, or thinks about the processes of the mind, we can end up without words, such is the scale and power of the unknown as it darts around our mind. This sense of awe is articulated in Chevalier’s works. Like these Big Questions, Chevalier’s installations are something we must experience, rather than just look at. We should walk in and around, subsumed by the qualities of light, and then, as if transported somewhere either far away or deep inside - the full force of his philosophy can begin to be understood.
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