April 05, 2014



ProYecta Oaxaca, festival Internacional de diseño y artes digitales
Ethnobotanical garden of Oaxaca, Mexico
The series of site specific visual and sonic installations created by several artists of the ANTIVJ visual label on the invitation of PROYECTA Oaxaca, international festival of  design & digital arts, as part of the Ethnobotanical garden of Oaxaca, Mexico, explores the mediation between the natural and the artificial. Light follows the organic behavior of plants and creates depths of the perceptual field in order to vivify a lively dialogue between computer-generated elements and the natural world.
While gardens are an expression of the relationship between nature and culture, mostly seen as an idealized landscape subjected to the shaping powers of culture and deprived of their own principles of ecology, the garden in Oaxaca seems untameable. Its wild diversity is an image of all ethnic groups, indigenous languages and species of plants that found here a favourable oasis. The arrangement of the garden reflects the natural history of cultivation and creates a polemical encounter between the garden’s rather “nationalist” character and the arched windows of the monastery, an expression of alien colonists. The location turns into a living canvas and mediates our contemplation on the relationship with nature, environment, the passage of time, the spectres of being and our illuminating beliefs.
The garden in Oaxaca is a microcosm the artists use to unveil the region’s endemic flora and to create a continuous experience out of the artistic format, one that may enables visitors to gain a deeper understanding of human interaction with the environment.
“We liked the idea of trying to create a trail” says Nicolas Boritch, “(…) of developing an ephemeral experience in such a unique space. A place which had never been opened to the public at night before.”
The artists’ use of an immersive experience through several site specific installations generates a physical and psychological journey, but it also transforms materials and the environment into a magic geography where matter becomes object and space is refined as a wild territory of organic forms, light and technology. The trails of light become trails of the senses through which visitors can resonate with ancestral techniques, nature, technology, and a mystical experience of the world. While the curative mythologies and practices man creates to ensure his grasp over nature are an attempt to command its wild forces, the artists were interested “in letting the spectators glimpse and hear the hidden world behind each plant, rock and construction there”, says Thomas Vaquié. “We approached this idea of a garden trail as a dream. Even though each piece could work separately, it was important for us to build the trail as a journey, so that people might enter and exit with a sense of continuity. To give them the impression that they never left the dream.”
Romain Tardy’s cacti piece creates a cultural and symbolic bridge linking heterogeneous moments into a shared continuum. As the visitor approaches the installation, he is progressively immersed into its core, where shapes of light and whispering sounds draw him towards the main scene. The architectural setting, “formed by cacti which separated the space into two unavoidable chambers of perception, allows the visitors to view the installation from different angles”, says Laurent Delforge. “The idea of playing with multi-sided space became a thread in the narrative construction of the piece.”
The Ark is a contextual installation. It uses plants as a visual canvas but also as living beings embodying an individual presence coherently integrated into nature as the unity of multiple living entities. Yet the installation was not an attempt to reach “a pristine symbiosis between nature and technology”, says Delforge. “The idea was more to create a peculiar encounter.” The trail of light is an expression of the collision between nature and technology, but its luminous matter also deals with memory and recollection. The magic of light activates our recollection. Immersed in this environment, the visitor takes an illuminating mental journey to regain memory as light.
As visitors walk past the cacti installation, guided by distant lowing lights and subterranean sounds only, an open space reveals 3Destruct | Oaxaca pulsating behind thick vegetation.
Text by Sabin Bors, curator at anti-utopias.com
You may watch the Arc Project’s video to click below link of Antivj

You may reach another project from Antivj to click below link from my blog archive.


Romain Tardy is a visual artist, and focuses his work primarily in digital arts.
Born on September 23, 1984, in Paris, he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts before working for various animation and post-production studios in Paris. He also worked as a VJ at numerous events in France and across Europe, which led him to further examine the complex connections between sound and image.
With this experience, Tardy, along with three other artists, created the European visual label Antivj in 2008, which formed the base of his research and work on projected light and its influence on perception. He remained one of the label’s main artists until late 2013.
His installations, which often use the technique of videomapping, are conceived as tangible experiences in situ and use light as a way to enhance existing architecture or original structures. By examining our relationship to reality as we are confronted by computer imagery and the social changes that it triggers, as well as the way that digital technology is situated in public space, Tardy’s installations seek to evoke these current issues through a poetic approach.