The world of visual art, already expansive, has been greatly enhanced by the arrival of 3D printing technology. Several artists have emerged in the last few years with striking displays of talent and creativity, showing the world ideas that it’s hard to believe could have come from a 3D printer. The variety of work generated by 3D printing artists is as wide as that in any other artistic genre, and when you add in artists who utilize 3D printing alongside other media forms, the possibilities become even greater.
One multimedia artist who has caught our attention in the past is Jean-François Réveillard, whose work ranges from traditional painting to roadside art to video installations – with a very healthy dose of 3D printing running through all of it. His subject matter encompasses everything from the whimsical (“Chat à la moustache verte”) to the sobering (the “Diagnoses” series). His latest series explores both the vast and the very small in a multimedia, video and 3D printing centered installation entitled “Time and Particles.”
“The particles, constituents of all matter, are precious stones, jewels, vibratory pigments closely related to time and universe. Highlighted in the LHC ( Large Hadron Collider), these discoveries turn upside down our vision of the world and our origin, especially the space/time in which we live,” Réveillard explains. “These gems of the universe are represented in cabinet of curiosity style, by sculptures realized in a dreamlike poetic manner with three dimensional printings, enhancing their non-persistence and accentuating their mysteries.”
The installation debuted at Rhy Art Fair, which took place from June 16-19 in Basel, Switzerland. The abstract, dreamlike exhibit featured several of Réveillard’s 3D printed “particle” sculptures, which range from simple, straightforward depictions of gold particles, for example, to more metaphorical structures like “Particles of Hope.” Juxtaposed against the 3D printed sculptures was a video stream of surreal images that depict the merging of humanity and the natural world, as well as the fluid, ephemeral nature of time itself. Digital particles pulsate and dance, then fade in and out of view alongside nebulous human figures, while sunlight streams through clouds and waves crash on a beach.
“Nature is the expression of the most visible and observable time, one of the main valuable assets, the one that puts us in the persistence of our lives lost in technological narcosis,” says Réveillard. “We must continually protect this nature, an integral part of our being, the natural time belongs to us, existing in each tiny part of the universe with us, or without us.
“This timeline is represented through observation and digital scenes sets in videos, some filmed live within nature, where introspection helps to visualize, immersing in a universal breathing stream, blocking and stopping the artificial time of technology.”
Indeed, the videos of live nature scenes, for the most part, stand out much more clearly and sharply as opposed to the digital images, which dissolve, morph and disappear. It’s particularly interesting to watch the particles and human figures fade into the ocean and sky, as if to imply that everything, from the most primal particulate matter to the most advanced human-developed technology, eventually melt back into the elements from which they originally came.