Atsara: Poetry of Physics

Audrey Rocher and Roland Devocelle are the artists’ collective “Atsara”. Their artistic research is dedicated to physical structures and principals as aesthetic phenomena and poetical realms. They will travel from Agen in the south of France to Hildesheim to realize a site-specific version of the installation “[M]ondes” at the outlook “Berghölzchen”. The series of works called “[M]ondes” refer to the interplay of “monde” (en: world) and “onde” (en: wave). The metaphorical title denotes light and sound as parallel frequencies and in their artistic research, Atsara aim to intertwine the audio and the visual experience. “We are working in the field of plastic arts, sound arts and corporeal art, we move from one artistic discipline to another, our work expands, combines, provokes, inspires, generates resonance and reacts to it. Sound and visual art are indivisible for us.”

They develop site-specific interventions that host an infinite play of light, shape and color in constant transformation. Rooted in the spheres of theater, dance, and music, their compositions are based on movement and change. Both are originally performers, they mastered the art of improvisation, with music and sounds, moves and gestures. “We started to work with light in the frame of a sounds performances. We were playing concerts of improvised music on objects and material, moving around a circular stage area, surrounding by the public. We wanted to have very few light and were using only a ray of light crossing this space. When the raw material we were using like plastic sheets or metal were crossing the ray of light, some of them were producing very interesting light effects. Among our sonic objects was a kind of ball of twisted wire. When this ball met the ray of light the visual effect stunned us. Now it is a while, that we are developing these observations as performances and as fine art installations. We experimented with different materials and other ways of using rays of lights, and we focused on the interactivity. Most of the times, our pieces are exhibited with sonic surroundings. And still, we also perform music and dance in our installations.”

Movement, change and ephemerality are their main building materials with which they explore the appearance of space, analog material and digital media as well as the interplay of perception and imagination. Cycles, rhythms and oscillations transit from darkness to light, from material to appearance, from experience to conscious thought in constant metamorphosis. The series “[M]ondes” is based on graphic animations of abstract geometric forms that are altered by the three-dimensional wire structures they are projected on. They are usually set in public environments: “This is the space where people who do not know each other could meet and share a common experience. Art in public space is a catalyst for this common experience.”

In Hildesheim, they will work on one of the sites in the quarter “Moritzberg”, where in the night there is only moon light illuminating the city’s landscape: “For both of us the moon is our most favorite light source although it is not a source but a reflector… We hope that the beauty of the space will be inspiring and will help us to cope with the winter’s coldness. We are looking forward to see our site with our own eyes because so far we only saw images and measurements. We will come early to Hildesheim to have enough time to feel and understand the site before we will start working.“ They will build a wire sculpture within the trees backing the outlook. When they will start to project their geometric animations, colorful light will start to dance on the wires. “We are creating delicate fireflies of light, poetical and even meditative atmospheres, although our basic material – mainly twisted wire – is very raw and trivial.”

[Interview with Audrey Rocher and Roland Devocelle on January 10, 2018. Summary of interview: Syrine Siala and Bettina Pelz]