The Crystal & the Blind
De Hugo Deverchère, installation 2018
The Crystal & the Blind is an incubator, a laboratory in which the indices and fragments of a world and its history are simultaneously produced. In this microcosm which acts as another reality, we are not spectators of a work but witnesses of the process of its appearance.
The project is inspired by two research programmes linked to the colonisation of space, both carried out in the United States in the second half of the 20th century: Biosphere II and Ecosphere.
These two programmes bore on the reproducibility of autonomous terrestrial ecosystems. Biosphere II was a private initiative that gave rise to the construction of a laboratory taking the form of a gigantic space station located in the Arizona desert. Conversely, Ecosphere was developed by NASA with a view to creating the simplest and most elementary viable ecosystem, which took the form of a little glass object.
The archives for Biosphere II, which are bound up with big speculative narratives, have been brought together and now comprise the memory and the imaginary of an artificial intelligence. An absent yet omnipresent character, the creator and narrator of a story and its context through forms that constitute a living ensemble (micro-organisms, plant life and minerals), its moods and evolutions are influenced by the study of the vital constants of the ecosystem developed by NASA, as recreated here and immersed in the apparatus.
Through this self-reflexive device which is also built like a visual ecosystem, scientific observation makes it possible to reorganise the history and imaginary invoked by space research and extrapolate it into a new narrative, following a prospective archaeological logic. Memory and becoming possible are placed in tension by the present in a narrative combining archives and fictions, through microcosmic spaces that are in constant formation and evolution, in which the real is examined like a speculative material.
Luc-Jérôme Bailleul, François Bedhomme, Aurélie Brouet, Sébastien Cabour, Baptiste Degryse, Valérie Delhaye, Pierre Delplanque, Dominique Deverchère, Gérard Deverchère, Sophie Deverchère, Elsa Di Venosa, Sarah Di Venosa, Daniel Dobbels, Thierry Fournier, Christophe Gregório, Maël Griffaton, Catherine Gross, Thomas Koenig, Pierre Le Lay, Julie Machin, Julien Maire,Barbara Merlier, Éric Prigent, Cyprien Quairiat, Stéphanie Robin, Massimiliano Simbula, Madeleine Van Doren. Le laboratoire Numédiart (Mons) : Jean-Benoît Delbrouck, Clémence Martin, Guy Vanden Bemden, Loïc Vanden Bemden. L’Université d’Arizona Biosphere 2 : John Adams, Candice R. Crossey, Ren Hinks, Katie Morgan. Seconde Nature : Corentin Touzet, Mathieu Vabre. 3 bis f : Diane Pigeau.
Oeuvres de Hugo Deverchère produites par Le Fresnoy :