Did you imagine these shapes before composing the soundtrack? Or after?
I started my work with the images, which, moreover, at first, were not animated. These images come from a mathematical algorithm that I discovered by chance, without suspecting that it would contain so much graphic potential. Mathematics very often has this propensity to generate very rich, very varied, and above all very unexpected forms. Who can remain insensitive to fractal objects, and in particular that of the Mandelbrot set? Likewise, my mathematical model, although having an almost childish formulation, very quickly showed itself to be the bearer of this great diversity of forms. And, to answer your question, the music came much later.
What is the relationship between your soundtrack and your animations?
When my images revealed such diversity, it quickly made me think of the principle of emergence, which seems to hold in many fields, and not just in science. This principle was first formulated by Aristotle, who said: “The Whole is more than the sum of its parts”. It’s a principle that comes to light when the way we look at things changes scale. The whole universe seems to organize itself according to this principle. We will probably never be able to verify that, but I like to think that it could be. And so, my forms strongly appeal to me on these emerging issues. Questions that are found everywhere in cosmology. Hence my search for music that is in the same spirit, that of a cosmic expression in close relation with its constituents … “We are stardust”, as Hubert Reeves says so well! This is such a rich thought, carrying so many promises!
Is everything in these animations planned specifically or are there elements or “coincidences” that mean things are happening that were not planned?
What I love and cultivate most of all in my work is its experimental aspect. Not in the scientific sense where experiments are always subject to very precise protocols and where chance and the unforeseen are rather frowned upon. My experiment is infinitely more fanciful. I try to free myself from the prejudices which, even before doing something, give you ready-made answers straight away, and which are almost always poor, in any case sterile. I find much more interest in the issues than in the answers that flow from them, because the former open the doors wide, while the latter often close them. So obviously my work on these animations was marked almost exclusively by trial and error and the unexpected, which I experienced with the same glee as a child. However, some mathematical tools, which unfortunately I do not know, would certainly allow me to go further. But mathematics also has its limits!
What do you think of the carefully planned creation Vs Experimentation?
I think creation can, in a way, temporarily help with planning. But, in a way, that is both temporary and light. Temporary: when you want to cross a river, a boat can be useful. But once on the other side of the shore, the boat is useless. It is then essential to get rid of it. Ditto for planning. Light: if you are too perfectionist, or too demanding, then this is not a boat you want to use, but a submarine or maybe even an aircraft carrier! You will then, of course, have no chance of having your expectations met. And so you will never cross a stream. I previously talked about mathematics. They do provide, to some extent, a form of planning for solving problems. But the greatest mathematicians have always advanced knowledge by bypassing this planning approach. This enabled them to chart new routes. I am firmly convinced that the same goes for the creative process … Chance will always contain this famous creative potential!