April 11 2014
Video: Magali Daniaux & Cédric Pigot, Devenir Graine © Magali Daniaux & Cédric Pigot
A cyber exhibition by Magali Daniaux & Cédric at the Espace Virtuel du Jeu de Paume. This article takes a look inside their work, at the discretion of the links that follow them.
“Devenir Graine” is an online creation by Magali Daniaux and Cédric Pigot,
a French aritistic duo, interested in contemporary world problems which they present in a poetic and unusual way. Their taste for science fiction feeds their off-the-wall, futuristic and anticipative approach to reality. An often invisible reality which, when seen through their optic, quickly becomes worrying and questions the future of humanity.
The “Devenir Graine” project began three years ago.
As part of their work on global warming, the two artists visited Kirkenes, a small arctic town in the North of Norway, on the shores of the Barents Sea and the border with Russia. Despite being a small town, the artists identified it as being a key site for the future challenges regarding climate change and energy. This energy is produced in the outskirts, far from urban development. Kirkenes and the region of the Barents, in the heart of the Artic circle, is the Eldorado of the future: an area of the world with great gas and oil stores, situated on the melting ice that is undergoing and will undergo irreversible changes.
In 2010, they set up a webcam on top of a TV antenna pointing at the city and the port to document the real-time urban development and maritime traffic. The following year, they produced Arctic Tactic for the Atelier de Création Radiophonique de France Culture, a radio documentary on the geopolitical, economic, industrial and urban issues of the Barents region.
Arctic Tactic : http://daniauxpigot.bandcamp.com/track/arctic-tactic
It is here that they discovered the Svalbard archipelago’s seed bunker of the – “The Svalbard Global Seed Vault”
, dug into the sandstone mountains. A grain bank that contains a duplicate of all the seeds of food crops in the world, “a sort of last chance back up” (according to MD and CP) which, so much more than just seeds, is rich in genetic material. The initiative for them speaks volumes about the pessimism concerning the preservation of bio-diversity, and on the relationship of man with nature. Why was a frozen and isolated no man’s land chosen to preserve the plant species that make up the base of the human diet? Why the Arctic? The duo went there hoping to decode this mystery.
When Magali and Cedric arrived at the site of the «Global Seed Vault»,
the door remained closed. They were not welcome. Then they set up their camera and take the first image of the project – a photo of themselves huddled in the cold wind and snow, they got into the skin of a seed. Unlike man or animal, a seed cannot run away from danger. Immobility has forced it to adapt to its surroundings and therefore it developed its first quality – plasticity. In which, the two artists offer a glimpse as an example for humanity: in order to survive man must adapt to its here and now in a constantly changing terrestrial, economic, and political environment.
Frustrated at not being able to get into the «vault», the duo having collected the architectural plans of the site from its creator, Cary Fowler, decided to develop a model in 3D and to make it accessible. Here, the user is walking inside the «vault» as if in a video game and discovers an icy world via an immersive sound design. At the bottom they have placed a poem, La sauvegarde sacrée, le bip de l’âme.
Devenir Graine is an interactive platform that integrates multi media and content: photos, videos, Skype interviews with experts
(Cary Fowler, former executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, that created the seed bank, Roland Von Brothmer, a professor of genetics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science, ..), performance, sound poetry, electronic musical compositions… It is divided between several Internet addresses but they are all connected if you know how to find the secret passages.
http://devenirgraine.org —> http://lo-moth.com
Devenir Graine creates a bridge between the visible reality,
the identified global economic issues and their invisible expression, which take shape in the future by reshaping our planet and humanity, but of which artists offer no plastic extrapolation. But rather record the present material like reporters, and use it as a basic ingredient of poetic construction. Prophetic.