Client: fuse*, BDC - Bonanni Del Rio Catalog
Location: Parma, Italy
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $100,000
Artistic Direction, Executive Production, Concept,
Artistic Direction, Executive Production, Concept, Software
Concept, Sound Design
Multiverse is an audiovisual installation that explores the evolution of infinite possible universes through the use of generative graphics and sounds that exploit the theorization of the existence of the so-called multiverse: a system composed of an infinite number of universes that coexist parallel outside our space-time. The installation consists of a vertical projection of 7.5 meters high and two large mirroring surfaces that generate an infinite reflection of the image towards the sky and the center of the earth. The goal is to increase the perception of reality by giving the impression that the installation is going beyond the physical walls projecting itself into a boundless space.
The work was staged for the first time in BDC28, a deconsecrated church in the historic center of Parma: Borgo delle Colonne 28 is the BDC headquarter, a center dedicated to contemporary art founded by Lucia Bonanni and Mauro Del Rio.
Multiverse aims to create a relationship of great intimacy with the viewer while wanting to keep the hierarchies between the two main characters. On one side the ephemeral and vulnerable human figure and on the other side something extremely vast and incomprehensible, almost impenetrable, such as the universe. One of the inspiration for the creation was the place where the installation was situated: a deconsecrated church located in Parma. We started by thinking about the possibilities that this space could give us in terms of architecture and meaning. We asked: what does it mean to realize something in a place where people go to look for answers to deep questions that in a certain sense go beyond space and time? Starting from this question, we looked for a way of allowing people to conceptually get out of the site and connect with everything that exists—the universe. The mirror system suggested the theme of the multiverse, and while exploiting it we found inspiration in Lee Smolin's theory. In a certain sense, his writings guided us in the definition of the graphics. Parallel to all this, we reasoned on what kind of emotional experience we wanted to make the spectator have, and the idea of recreating a feeling of ‘suspension’ between different spaces led us in creating the music.
The theme is trying to work to inspire people on several levels, allowing viewers to live the work with different levels of depth and different points of view, as have been created.
When we start working on a new project, the exploration phase might begin from different starting points in parallel. Working in a team enables the inclusion of different perspectives, and once we have defined a perimeter in which we can move, we start to play with ideas and test options. The multiverse theory of Lee Smolin, an American theoretical physicist, helped us to create a scientifically coherent narrative context. According to this theory our universe is only one in a much larger cosmos (the Multiverse), a member of a growing community of universes. This process leads to a revolutionary image of a Multiverse where universes with more black holes have more descendants. Smolin concludes that because of this “Cosmological Natural Selection” our universe is in this particular configuration and was born following precisely this mechanism; the existence of the earth and of ourselves, therefore, is partly causal, but at the same time the result of an infinite evolution of other universes. Hospitality to life in our universe is seen as a consequence of a self-organized process. In Multiverse, the role of "creator" belongs to the software, an application developed in openFrameworks that manages the generation of the various scenes that are displayed and that interacts with Ableton Live and Max/MSP for the production of the soundtrack through a generative sound system. Each scene, however, does not repeat itself in the same form. After thirty minutes the previous sequence of steps carrying the genetic information of the last passage triggers an evolutionary transition and the exploration of new possibilities through the modification of the so-called fundamental parameters. The generative nature of the system allows the creation of infinite variations that cyclically follow one another during the life of the artwork.
Exhibitions: Bonanni Del Rio Catalog (Parma - IT), Festival Filosofia (Modena - IT), Signal Festival (Prague - CZ), AS-Helix c/o National Museum of China (Beijing - CH) Awards: Wu Guanzhong Art and Science Innovation Award, Digital Design Awards 2019 - Installations, Digital Design Awards 2019 - Sound Design