For his exhibition The Relative Size of Things and the Vertigo of the Infinite at the Champs Libres at the invitation of 40mcube, Benoît-Marie Moriceau presents an installation in the building, and a large-scale intervention in the public space, visible from the library.

In the library of the Champs Libres, Benoît-Marie Moriceau took the decision to overdetermine the point of view by acting directly within the urban landscape. If it is not a question here of an exceptional panorama such as a breathtaking view of a mountain range, a megalopolis or the sea, it is nevertheless a question of taking advantage of a wider view of the city. To intervene on the scale of an urban area is to experience the capacities and limits of our vision. It also means confronting the rules governing the occupation of public or private space and defining an infiltration strategy that produces poetic meaning.

The project consists of installing light sources perceptible in broad daylight for a period of six months. The devices generate a series of flickers that are both intense and furtive, creating a dynamic and random light network in the urban fabric. The light is visible but in such a fleeting way that it tests the observer’s retinal persistence. The artist applies to this luminous intervention the constructive and sequenced logic of minimal music, entrusting musician Pierre Lucas with the task of establishing a composition rendered silent that serves as the basis for triggering the light flashes. To this end, he has relied on the principles of visual scores such as that of John Cage’s Atlas Eclipticalis or natural phenomena such as the communication mode of fireflies. A frequency is integrated into each device and its triggering is programmed during the library’s opening hours. The frequency is played in a loop and it is the effect of the time shift that gradually varies the composition of the set generating a random effect.

Rather than defining the location of the light sources according to points of interest in the city or a visual composition determined in a purely arbitrary manner, the artist has chosen to rely on a circumstantial situation and a principle of chance. Thus, a call for participation was launched via social networks and through the dissemination of an announcement in the local press. Residents who could see the library from their homes were invited to come forward. Within a perimeter of 1500 metres, some twenty sites were thus chosen to install the devices that make up the installation.

From the Champs Libres library, the reader wandering in the shelves or the one whose gaze escapes distractedly from his book, will be able to discern this signal, a call intended to reach the viewer in his movement and perhaps even interrupt him in his activity like a punctum. These punctuations act on the public space, the perception of which is as much a matter of an individual act as of a set of contributions made in an orchestrated and silent way…

Anne Langlois / Benoît-Marie Moriceau

Exhibition partners: Bauraum, Groupe Legendre, Lendroit Éditions, Model and Co, My Lucky Pixel, PanoramaRoad, PierroTechnics, Polyrepro, Smart Machines, Stergann, Teschner – Sturacci, Tolila + Gilliland, Urban Maquette

Media Partner: Les Inrockuptibles.