Different Ways to Infinity was part of the exhibition PHYSICAL/ITE-BIENNALE organized by the International Digital Arts Biennale and held this year from May through June at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Canada.
For Physical/ité, Felix Luque Sanchez proposes the idea of infinity as an arena for exploration of the fictional realm. In Different Ways to Infinity (DWI) he examines a number of ways to express infinity ranging from Strategy: I Space/Volume Geometry a magnetically connected modular system designed to form and reform a shape, to DWI: Chaos, a system that creates a perpetual real-time chaos loop, or DWI: Clones a double pendulum system that tries to achieve equilibrium. This makes one wonder if we have gotten closer to understanding the elusive nature of infinity or if this proposed fictitious world, a playground for philosophical questioning opens up an approach to the unknown or unexplained.
Here is China Blue’s interview with Felix Luque Sanchez who speaks about his work in the exhibition Different Ways to Infinity .
CB: In the exhibition “Different Ways to Infinity” at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal the works that you are showing brings together experiments in geometry and physics and fictional strategies to play with the idea of endlessness. At MCA you are showing DWI Modular a work which uses rhombic dodecahedras (think honeycomb shape) and light as a sculpture generator that reveals the shape of the sculpture over time.
FLS: Yes, but most of all I am interested in the idea of using the rhombic dodecahedron, a space filling polyedra, as a sculpture generator. The sculpture is made of 10 rhombic dodecahedrons; they are assembled and connected by a self-made magnetic connector. In other words, the sculpture is one form among many and I make use of the tessellation (patchwork) characteristics of the rhombic dodecahedron.
CB: You describe the DWI Modular as a work based on 10 rhombic dodecahedras connected by magnets. Has this work taken on other forms? If so what other shapes does it take on? And with this work how does the light reveal it over time?
FLS: I have chosen one specific configuration, a close shape assembly exploiting at their best the formal and dramatic qualities of this sculpture generator. By programming complex behaviors in the dodecahedra, i.e. controlling the light flowing in their edges from random to ordered patterns and contours, the perception of this geometrical shape slowly reveals itself through the interactions of the visitors with the sculpture. This interaction is controlled using ultra sounds sensors to read the distance of the visitor to the sculpture.
For the moment I’m also working in a video piece, which will explore the capacities of the system. A character will manipulate the system generating different forms and light behaviors. The result will be also exhibited with the sculpture.
CB: DWI Chaos is a synthesizer and oscilloscope with an audio system which produces real-time ‘Lorentz attractors,’ (infinite chaos loops). DWI Clones, is a mechanical device of two inverted pendulums which in a beautiful dance creates a tension, in the search for equilibrium. These are intriguingly different ways to investigate infinity.
Here is a video of DWI Clones
CB: As an artist what inspired your interest in science and to make it a topic of your work?
FLS: The subject of my work is science fiction. In this last project, D.W.I., I explore scientific discoveries as moments where science goes beyond and reaches metaphysical questions. I believe in science as a way to understand the world around us and not only in an objective or utilitarian way to act upon it. I am interested in the mystics of geometry and the philosophical questions that arise from chaos theory. In this project, I look at that limits between sciences and the unknown, the unexplained, as a fictional playground.
CB: Can you tell us about your interest in endlessness and chaos and how that has fueled this work?
FLS: In the work, I investigate three fictional approaches to generate infinity. The first one uses chaos as a generator of complexity in the form of Lorentz attractors, those attractors are fractal structures which tend by definition to infinity. The second addresses infinity through volume, space and geometry, using the rhombic dodecahedron. The last one looks at endlessness state of equilibrium represented by the two identical pendulums. Of course, this is a very subjective work that explores the poetical dimension of science.
FLS: No, I don’t have an academic background on “formal” science. I study social sciences, or precisely anthropology. But then I went to study new media art in Barcelona, at the Pompeu Fabra University. I was very interested in sound because of my music background, but then I discovered programing with Max/Msp, how to prototype electronics with basic stamps and Arduinos … but my interest in science came from a conceptual and philosophical curiosity. Science and technology are very fascinating from an anthropological point of view to understand our present and future. My artist practice is based on the perspective of science fiction.
CB: Your inclusion in the Biennale International d’art numerique is through the Wallonia-Brussels Federation an initiative that was created with the focus of supporting the interaction between science and culture and promoting artists and helping distribute their work. Can you tell us how your work was discovered by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation?
FLS: The Wallonia-Brussels Federation has a special commission for new media art. They give grants to artists living in Brussels and Wallonia for specific new media art projects. They also give grants to institutions to finance new media art exhibitions. In the context of an artistic exchange with Quebec, D.W.I was one of the 5 projects chosen to represent the Wallonia-Brussels Federation at the The International Digital Arts Biennial of Montreal.
Mr. Luque Sanchez is from Oviedo, Spain and lives in Brussels and works at the iMAL FabLab. He has shown his work through out France, Brussels and in Montreal. He has received numerous grants and awards for his work ranging from the “New Technological Art Award The Liedts-Meesen Foundation” for “Nihil Ex Nihilo”, an Honorary Mention from “Ars Electronica 2010” for “Chapter I: The Discovery”, Linz and an award for “VIDA 13.0” from Artistic Production Incentives. Fundación Telefónica, Madrid. As well as Production Grants from Secteur arts numériques, Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles.
Thank you for your time, Felix.